A brief history of the Yom Kippur War, and a testament to how faith in God always prevails.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me…”—Psalm 23:4
The Yom Kippur War put Israel to the ultimate test—challenging the country’s strength, resolve, and faith. Even when death and defeat seemed right around the corner, the Israelis kept hope alive, and God delivered in His promise to protect them.
What led up to the war?
The return of the Jews to Israel has stirred up resentment from neighboring countries since the first Zionists came to the land in the 19th century. When Israel declared independence in 1948, they were almost immediately challenged by the Arab League—formerly known as the League of Arab States—who were afraid that the existence of a Jewish State would push them off the map.
Not long before the Yom Kippur War, Israel shocked the world by defeating Egypt, Syria, and others in the Six-Day War. The fledgling nation was still developing, and hardly equipped to fight so many enemies at once…
But they did. And they won.
The key to victory for Israel in the Six-Day War was disarming the enemy. An Israeli airstrike virtually wiped out the Egyptian air forces overnight, leaving them powerless and unable to harm the Holy Land.
But that wasn’t the last Israel would see of Egypt.
Following Israel’s victory in the Third Arab-Israeli War, Egypt and Syria ceded land to Israel as part of the peace agreement. In October of 1973, they made it clear they wanted that land back.
Just a few years after making a peace agreement with Israel, Egypt mobilized and began to conduct training exercises close to Israel’s border. This strategy was designed to intimidate the Israelis with their bolstered army, arsenal of new Soviet weapons, and their willingness to use both. Even so, Israelis never suspected an actual attack, due to the international political pressure against Egypt going to war—especially from the United States.
When Egyptian leadership fell into radical hands, this all changed. There were no pleas or politics that could stop them. They wanted a war, and they got one.
This time, the enemy struck first. Egypt and Syria coordinated attacks on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. A day meant for repentance and forgiveness.
In observance of Yom Kippur, the Jewish people do not eat, drink, or work—so that they may focus on prayer and their connection to God. Many Israeli soldiers who were observing the holiday were caught by surprise, and to make matters worse, the enemy coalition outnumbered the Israelis ten to one.
To make matters even worse, the enemy was now equipped with state-of-the-art Soviet technology—designed to destroy tanks and create havoc.
The enemy struck first, but not last.
In the Southwest, the Egyptians had gained the element of surprise by successfully crossing the Suez Canal. But Israel repelled wave after wave of Egyptian tanks—destroying hundreds of enemy tanks, while suffering few losses.
In the Northeast, Israel took on the Syria in the mountainous Golan Heights, where victory came at a higher cost…
The Moment of Truth in the Valley of Tears
All looked hopeless for Israel. Outnumbered and outgunned…but not to be outcast. The Israelis fought back, their faith in God never wavering.
When Syria arrived at the gates of the Golan Heights, Israel met them with all they could. Ultimately, the Golan Heights were a critical battleground because there were roadways that the invading armies would take to capture Israeli cities!
The Israeli Defense Forces fought back desperately to buy time for reinforcements—adopting new tactics as they went.
When the Syrian anti-aircraft guns pummeled Israeli fighters, the pilots responded by flying much lower, out of range. When the Syrian tanks broke Israeli lines, the Israelis turned their turrets back to wipe out the advance.
After four days of fighting, the Israelis were found hanging on by the skin of their teeth. One more push by the Syrians, and their lines would have collapsed… the gates to the Holy Land would have been breached.
But instead, for whatever reason, that is when the Syrians turned and left.
Reinforcements arrived soon after and helped Israel push through to end the fight once and for all.
Protecting the border came at a great cost to Israel, with many tanks destroyed, and brave lives sacrificed—but not in vain.
When all hope seemed to be lost, they held on… because they knew God would keep His promise to protect the Jews. All along, His hand of protection covered them. They prevailed through adversity… to the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be the glory!
Just look at Israel now.
Some of the world's best technology is developed in and by Israel. Their borders are finally being fortified, and their capital recognized according to God’s purpose and destiny for His people.
All along, God had planned success for Israel. The path would not be easy, but certainly worth taking.
We must all let faith guide us down this path.
When you understand the perseverance of the forefathers of your faith, your faith grows. God’s purpose is restoration, bringing both Jew and Gentile together as One New Man.
Want to know more about the One New Man? Download our FREE guide today!
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the
middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the
law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself
one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile
them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the
Knowing the roots of your faith and the perseverance of the Jewish people displayed on this holy day brings greater meaning to the feast. We invite you to join us for Yom Kippur, Tuesday, September 18th at 7:00 PM CT.
Registration is FREE but required due to limited seating. Doors open at 6:30 PM CT.