Apples of Gold Sep/Oct 2015
Recently I was in Hebron where I met many Swedish tourists. Their guide was giving them false information that was unsympathetic to Israel, and many of them believed him.
Two of the tourists came up to me and asked if I was from Israel.
“Yes, I am,” I replied.
I told them I spoke Swedish, and one said, “Good. Would you please tell us about this place? We think something we have heard is wrong.”
I told them, “Not only something, but everything your guide said was wrong.”
“How do you know this?” one asked.
I answered, “Because here in Hebron God said to 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’” (Gen. 13:14–16).
Then one asked, “Do you believe in God?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“We do also,” she said, “but we are Christians, not Jews.” I said, “There is one Father, one God, and one Holy Spirit.” “You speak like a Christian,” she exclaimed. She quickly told her friend, “He spoke about the Lord, and he is a Jew.”
“Why are you surprised?” I asked. “The ﬁrst apostles were Jews and came from this nation.”
Then the guide came over to me and asked, “Are you trying to take my livelihood away from me?”
“No,” I answered. “I only want to clarify things for these tourists. You should not tell them false stories. You should know the Bible if you want to be a good guide here in Israel. This is the land of the Bible.”
“Not Hebron or Shechem,” he replied.
I then asked the group who Abraham was.
The guide answered, “He was Islamic.”
The tourists knew he was wrong. The guide then said, “Let us go now.” But the tourists did not leave. They wanted to hear more. So I spoke to them, as well as to many Arabs and Jewish people who passed by. I spoke ﬁrst in Swedish, then in Arabic, and then in Hebrew so all could understand.
Some remarked that only the Jews are the Chosen People. I said, “This is true. However, God gave His Son to the whole world, as John 3:16 tells us. Romans 3:23 says all people are sinners. Jesus Christ ‘gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people’” (Ti. 2:14).
One Jewish person said, “Now you are going too far. Before you spoke from the Bible, but now you are talking about another subject.”
“This is the same subject,” I said. “The New Testament is a continuation of the Hebrew Scriptures.”
I then read Jeremiah 31:31–34, where God said, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel.”
Another Jewish person responded, “You can speak like this because you never had to ﬁght for your country.”
Then I showed him my army book and all of my distinguished service awards.
I told him, “Even now I serve in the army, and my children also. I believe on the Lord and also serve my country. We who are believers are the only ones who can say we are really Jews. We have received the Lord as our Savior, for only in Him can we be saved.”
Another asked, “How can you speak about Christ in such a holy place as this?”
I said, “I can speak about Him in holy places because He is holy. The Lord has given each of you a choice—to accept or reject His Son. Ask Him, through prayer, to come into your heart. He is the One who loved the world so much He gave His Son for us all, so we should not perish but have everlasting life.”
The Swedish tourists were happy to hear all of this. The Arabs and Jewish people were not, but their attitudes changed. They did not attack me because of my stand for the Lord.
The guide asked me, “Where shall I take the group now?”
I replied, “Follow what is written in Psalm 48:12–14, ‘Walk about Zion, and go all around her. . . . For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.’”
He was happy to hear this and invited me to his home. It is good to know visitors and Israeli citizens alike can have the opportunity to hear the gospel of the Lord Jesus.
—The Friends of Israel Archives, 1986