Joel of Jerusalem Aug/Sep 1976

This week three of my children told me they were going to a hospital for old people, to play their instruments for them. I told them I would have some free time that evening and I would go with them. I remembered the man who is in charge of the hospital, as I had a long discussion with him about one year ago. So it was, that I accompanied my children to this old folks home. The people were all about 80 years of age or older, and most were quite sick.

The first song my children played was from Psalm 121:5-8, which starts with the words, “The Lord is thy keeper.” Then they played from Isaiah 60, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”’ The old people were very happy and sang with the children, because every Jew knows these songs. It is sad, though, that they do not know the One the songs tell of.

I was very surprised to see signs there, written in big letters, stating, “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”  A year before, when I had spoken with the doctor who is in charge of the hospital, he had said, “The Jews who believe on Jesus are not welcome in Israel.” What had happened?

After my children finished, this doctor came to them and congratulated them on their fine playing. He asked them to come and play again, and he then said he would be happy to meet with their father. But, when I came up to him, he seemed to be afraid. He said, “I know you, but I cannot remember from where.” I said, “Yes, I remember you very well.” He then became even more frightened.

I asked, “What is the matter? Do you think I am the police? I am not. We were together in the Army last year for a short time.” He then remembered me and the long discussion which we had.

I pointed to the signs and asked him what had caused the apparent change in his attitude. He said, “Things have changed. We are living in different times.”’ He then asked,  “Are you the same? How have you been?” Ii said, “Yes, I am the same believer, and I am happy that the Lord is my Saviour and that I can open my heart to Him in every situation.” He said he believed me.

“If you believe me,” I asked, “why don’t you open your heart to the Lord? Now you are a doctor but there will come a time when you must give back to the Lord that which He has given to you. The body is nothing, but how is it with your soul? It will I also die, if you do not trust in the Lord. You will be lost forever. You are not a child, you know. We are here talking now, but in one hour we could be dead. Save your life! Believe on the Lord now!”

He said, “In this hospital I am the boss, I am a big man. But, after what you have said to me, I can see that if I were to die now, I would be lost.”  I then gave him a Bible and said, “Read this and pray. God will put a good feeling in your heart for Him, and you must follow that feeling.” He said, “I am a very rich man, but I have no peace with myself,” “I am much richer than you,”’ I told him, “because I have the Lord in my heart. I am happy and He gives me peace. You can also have this peace, but it is only available through His mercy.”’

He thanked me for the Bible and made me promise that my children would return. He said we were welcome!

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