Apples of Gold Nov/Dec 2022
Through God’s miracles, the Jewish people have survived; and now we live in the Promised Land. At this time of year, we enjoy celebrating Hanukkah. It is a joyful, special time for children. Their parents come not with candles of joy and victory but of memorial.
Many people here are far from God. They have lost their hope and are in trouble. No one can encourage them. They live in deep disappointment, and the whole world seems dark to them. There are many such people in our neighborhood, and they know me and like to speak with me. Recently, some of them came to me in deep despair.
“You should never lose hope,” I told them. “Put your trust in God, for only He will encourage us.”
“What will you say to those whose sons were taken into the army?” one of them asked.
I have heard this question many times. I asked him, “How many of your sons are in the army?”
“Is one son not enough?” he replied.
“You are so far from faith in the Lord,” I told him. “I have three sons in the military: one in the paratroopers, one in the Air Force, and one is an officer on a torpedo boat. Our daughter is also in army communications.”
“How can you be at peace with this?” one asked.
“Psalm 50:15 says, ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.’ But this is written only to those who believe in the Lord,” I said.
I was about to read for them what God tells the wicked in the next verse, but first I asked, “If I read only from the book of Psalms, why do you call me a traitor? Who are the traitors? Those who read God’s Holy Word or you people? Job 5:7 says, ‘Man is born to trouble.’ But without God, every day will bring more trouble. Only God can take all this suffering from us. Therefore, the Lord said, ‘Call to Me’” (Jer. 33:3).
I told them, “Not many people have had as much trouble as I have had; and I put my trust in the Lord, our Savior, who said, ‘I will never . . . forsake you.’”
“How can you speak about faith and not even cover your head?” one of the new immigrants asked.
“I am not like the ultra-Orthodox, who come in black clothing like camouflage. This seems good to people like you, but not to God. I come before God with an honest heart. The ultra-Orthodox come to you with fables and rabbinical traditions. They bring many books written by men. But what do I have? Only the Holy Bible, which was given to the people of Israel. It is written in Leviticus 26, ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season’ [vv. 3–4]. Can we live without water? And are you obeying His commands?” I asked them.
“Do you obey?” one asked me.
“I am not an angel, but I do my best to obey His commands,” I replied.
People are very suspicious here. As we say in Israel, “Respect him and suspect him.” That is why one asked me, “To which sect do you belong?”
I showed them the Bible and asked, “Who wrote the Bible? Those who belong to a sect or those who have true faith in the Lord?”
They had received brochures from ultra-Orthodox organizations. “These brochures,” I said, “only tell you how to fight against those who do not believe like the ultra-Orthodox. There is no love, no consideration for anyone who is not with them. But the Lord said, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ in Leviticus 19:18.”
They started to listen with great attention, not as before. We spoke more deeply this time. I read John 3:16 and showed them God loves them and can change them.
At the end of our time together, I read Ezekiel 33:11, “Turn, turn from your evil ways!” It was a long and interesting talk. Please pray they read God’s Holy Word for themselves and come to know Him personally.
From The Friends of Israel archives