October 23, Tuesday

Hosea 14:5 Field of Lilies – Tiffany Studios, c. 1910.

Take words with you, and return to the LORD. Say to him, Take away all iniquity.

Hosea 14:2.

This happened towards the end of May 1991, after the end of the Gulf War. Once again there was trouble brewing and tension over all Israel. Would the action succeed? Would there be any dead or injured? Then, finally, almost thirty-four hours after the start of “Operation Solomon” the last of the El Al planes landed safely in Tel Aviv. Altogether 14,400 Jews had been evacuated from Ethiopia at literally the last minute. There had been tough negotiations with the Ethiopian government, and careful, strictly secret preparations had preceded this successful action. Moreover, several million U.S. dollars had flowed into the coffers of the East African state. Then things had to move extremely quickly. The rebels had won the civil war. The dictator Mengistu had fled abroad, the insurgents were outside the airport of Addis Abeba. A few thousand Jews took their time and reached the airport too late. When the last plane rose from the runway, the rebels took control of the airport. The way home was now totally barred. Why didn’t those Jews respond to the call to fly home at once? They had presumably under-estimated the urgency of the situation.
There is a tragic parallel to this incident in the behaviour of people who do not take God’s summons to be converted seriously. His call is extremely urgent. It is an appeal for a decision to be converted and put one’s faith personally in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. “Today if you will hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

Image: By Daderot. – I took this photo at the Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass, on the Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois, USA. This artwork is now in the public domain because of its age. There were no prohibitions on photography at the gallery, and no assertions of copyright or any other form of restriction on reproduction., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1297504