Inside View Mar/Apr 2023
At our farewell dinner for our Up to Jerusalem tour to Israel in October, I was touched by the comments of our Israeli guide. We honored him for skillfully leading and sharing with us his vast knowledge of things biblical and historical and his great insights into the significance of the places we visited. We gave him a standing ovation in appreciation for what he had done for us.
As we settled back into our seats, he took the microphone and shared his heart. “I grew up believing that no one cared for us,” he said. “The world is filled with hatred of the Jewish people. Yes, some may come saying they are friends and reach out a hand while reaching their other hand behind our backs to do harm.”
Wow! His words captured the attention of everyone in the room. It’s difficult for us to understand what Jewish people experience: not only to be hated for who you are, but to be persecuted and betrayed by those who profess friendship, and to believe the whole world is against you.
He continued, “When I began guiding The Friends of Israel tour groups many years ago, for the first time I met people who genuinely loved me. Instead of reaching out one hand to greet me, they reached out both hands. For the first time, I came to understand that there are people in this world who love and appreciate the Jewish people!”
This is the gift of love I see given by those who come on our tours. They express their unconditional love and appreciation for the Jewish people in Israel that emanates from knowing the Jewish people have blessed them. Over the 10 days of the tour, so many Israelis expressed their appreciation to me for what we do.
Our guide concluded, “You don’t know how much it means to me and other Israelis to know that someone cares for us. It’s huge!”
This is the reality of the world in which we live.
Antisemitism—hatred for God’s Chosen People—has existed since God made His unconditional covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12. That covenant, in which God promises to bless all the people of the world through Israel, gives us insight into this hatred.
When God raised up a nation through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He used that nation to:
→ Teach us there exists only one Most High God.
→ Record and preserve His Holy Word.
→ Give us our Savior.
→ Become the exclusive nation through whom our future blessing will flow.
Consequently, that nation became the enemy of everyone who hates the God of the Bible. Antisemitism flows out of Satan’s conflict with God and his continuous efforts to thwart the Almighty by eliminating the one people through whom God has chosen to complete His redemptive plan. Antisemites are doing the will of the Evil One.
Today, antisemitism is surging around the world. Jewish people face persecution and violence in increasing numbers. Synagogues, Jewish schools and day care centers, university campuses, subways, marketplaces, and even Jewish homes are all targets of this vile hatred.
Our guide’s words are a lesson to all of us. You possess the antidote to antisemitism that can relieve Jewish people from feeling that nobody cares for them. It is called love, and you don’t have to go on one of our tours to Israel to use it—although I would love to have you join us.
You can love and bless Jewish people right where God planted you. It can begin with merely teaching others to love and appreciate them. Explain why you love them. Then others may follow you and express their love in words and deeds. The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry has been doing this for 85 years, and we thank God every day for the Jewish people and the blessing they are to the world.
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