Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Make No Little Plans

"I know that you can do all things;

no purpose of yours can be thwarted." - Job 42:2

Many miracles have been associated with the birth of the State of

Israel, and none more so than the revival of the Hebrew language. For

thousands of years, the language of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was

deemed a "dead language," existing only in the lyrics of

traditional songs, liturgies of prayers, and in the ancient writings

of the rabbinic scholars.

But when a young Jew named Eliezer Ben-Yehuda began dreaming of his

people returning to their ancestral soil in the late 1800s, he knew

one thing was absolutely essential - a common language. And so

began a lifelong passion and pursuit of reviving Hebrew as the

language to unite all Jews in their historic homeland.

Born in Luzki, Lithuania, in 1858, Ben-Yehuda moved to Jerusalem with

his family in 1881. He became one the first teachers at the Alliance

School to offer courses in Hebrew. Tirelessly, he devoted long hours

on his "Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew."

In 1910, he published the first of six volumes to appear before his

death in 1922. After Ben-Yehuda died, his widow and son continued his

work, until all seventeen volumes had been published by 1959.

Ben-Yehuda wrote in the preface to his dictionary: "it was as if

the heavens had suddenly opened, and a clear incandescent light

flashed before my eyes, and a mighty inner voice sounded in my ears:

the renascence of Israel on its ancestral soil ... the more the

nationalist concept grew in me, the more I realized what a common

language is to a nation."

Thanks to the vision and passion of this one man, Hebrew was adopted

as one of three official languages of the Palestine Mandate in 1920,

and Israel's official language upon statehood in 1948.

Undoubtedly, it was a daunting task. But Ben-Yehuda never lost sight

of his goal and faith in being able to achieve this goal. It's

amazing that one person could have such a lasting impact on life in

Israel, on the Jewish people, and on the world!

God often gives His people difficult and challenging tasks to

accomplish. Moses was told to go and deliver a people from oppression.

Joshua was told to conquer the land of Canaan; Nehemiah, to rebuild

the walls around Jerusalem. The Bible is filled with countless such

examples. But in every instance, God also provides the means to

accomplish those tasks.

So what task has God given you today? What passion has He stirred in

your heart?