Apples of Gold Mar/Apr 2017
The Lord said in 1 Kings 21:19, “Have you murdered and also taken possession?” People are still killing and trying to take Israel’s land. The Arabs constantly seek to destroy us and demand that we compensate them for war damages. This is the highest impudence against heaven!
Since I speak Arabic, my Arab neighbors, who have known me for a long time, came over recently to complain about Israel. They said all of the land belongs to them and that peace will not come until Israel ceases to exist. So I opened my Bible and showed them what the Lord told Abraham:
Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you (Gen. 13:14–15, 17).
I then read to them what God said concerning Israel’s borders: “And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the [Euphrates] River” (Ex. 23:31). They listened intently. When I finished, one declared, “But that is not the Bible! The Jewish people wrote that.”
Another said, “We are the largest people group on Earth! We have more people and more power than Israel.” Soon more Arabs arrived and joined them. I could tell they began to feel empowered.
I showed them I was holding an English Bible, and I asked if they believed in the five books of Moses. Surprisingly, they said yes. I asked one of them who spoke English to read aloud Deuteronomy 7:17–18: “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’—you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.”
Since they had never heard the ways in which God delivered the Jewish people and hurled the Egyptian army into the sea, I read for them many other Scriptures (Ex. 14:14; 15:4, 22; Ps. 83:3–16; Isa. 41:8–15; Joel 3).
One of them asked, “Are you sure this is true? How can this be?” I reminded them how the Arab armies far outnumbered the Israeli army in Israel’s War of Independence. “I fought in all of Israel’s wars,” I said. “In 1948, we had only a half million people, and you came against us like the mighty locusts—five Arab countries against tiny Israel. You were confident you would erase us from the map. You had the best weapons, and we had almost nothing. But the Word of the Lord is eternal. It stands firm in the heavens. As the Lord delivered us from Egypt, He delivered us from you. You fled from us like terrified rabbits because you put your trust in large armies of unbelieving people. We put our trust in the Lord.
“The Lord chose us—the tiniest nation in the world—to fulfill the biggest duty. He called us to be a light to the Gentiles and to bring His salvation to the ends of the earth [cf. Isa. 49:6].”
One of them replied, “Are you going to tell us that what you say is also written in the Bible?”
I told him, “If you want, I will show you where it is written.” So I showed him Isaiah 49:6, and he read it aloud. “If this is so,” he asked, “then why is the world against you?” I told him, “Those who read the Bible and believe what is written in it are not against us. They do not live by the sword, as you do.”
At the end of our long conversation, they told me they would come again. Even though they are our enemies, we must share with them the truth of God’s Word. If they trust in the Lord, we can become brothers.
—The Friends of Israel Archives,