After all the hype, glamour and expectation, the Israeli soccer team tied with the mighty England 0-0.
No goals for Israel.
No goals for England.
In front of 40,000 fans in the stadium and millions more in England, Israel and who knows where else!
In NBA or NFL terms, that means a full game (with all the commercials, timeouts, etc.) ending 0-0!
And the Israelis were happy, saying the result indicates good progress!
It’s not my job here to explain the mysteries of soccer, but I would like to consider the wonders of modern-day Israel.
Israel – whether we like it or not – is the Promised Land.
Promised by God to the Jewish people.
To play soccer?
To become another England or America in the Middle East?
I think not.
Of course there’s value in sport and in developing a western-style, democratic, educated society, but what are Israel’s long-term goals?
To be a nation just like any other nation?
Have we survived thousands of years of exile, persecution, pogroms and Holocausts just to become a nation like any other?
Were we freed from Egypt just to be able to compete against England in the European Championships?
Please correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I would guess Israel is here to achieve some piritually valuable goals.
After all, do we really need another America? Does God care if we beat England or not?
It’s a “Promised Land” so the Jewish people can leverage its intrinsic holiness as some sort of “light unto the nations.”
To take it a bit over the top, that means Israeli sports crowds should behave impeccably, with respect and courtesy for their opponents...
No swearing or curses during the game...
OK. That’s maybe for the Messianic All-Stars in Jerusalem but you get the idea.
For if Israel has no goals but to score goals, why are thousands of IDF soldiers risking their lives every day?
And why are Hamas, Hezbollah & Co. out to kill us?