Last But Not Least Jun/Jul 1975
Joel of Jerusalem
“Take the Name of Jesus With You”
I am writing this letter while on active duty with the army. The situation here is like sitting on a volcano. Something may erupt any minute. I am now in battle position with my five friends. Recently they asked me if I thought there would be war or peace. I told them that I did not know, but wondered why they wanted my opinion.
“We ask you because we know that you believe in God,” they said, “and you have insight that we do not have.”
“We can only wait and pray to the Lord,” I told them. “Only He can give us lasting peace. Without Him, we can do nothing.”
“How long have you been in the army?” they asked.
“Twenty-seven years,” I replied.
“What!” they exclaimed. “Have you any children?”
“Yes, four,” I answered.
“Are you not afraid of the war?”
“Yes, I’m afraid, but not for myself. I fear for you and for all Israel.”
When they asked, “Why?,” I explained, “Because if I die, I have hope in the Lord who has saved me. But if you die, you will die forever. It would be good if you would receive the Lord, and the fear will go from your hearts. This fear is because you have not believed on Him.
“When our forefathers left Egypt, they left with hope; but later they began to believe in other gods like the golden calf. Therefore, God punished them. Moses prayed for the nation as recorded in Exodus 32:13,
Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it forever.
God kept His promise forever, but we forgot that He said to us, ‘I am your God, and you are my people.’ Remember, be happy that we have a living God who never forgot us, even in trouble.”
I sang for them a song about soldiers of Jesus and “Take the Name of Jesus With You,” which showed them that we who believe on Jesus have confidence and trust in Him. We have a quietness in our hearts, which they, too, could have.
One of them said to me, “How can we be quiet when our wives and children are alone at home?”
I asked each of them how many children they had. Some had only one; others had two and three; but none had four, as I did. I said to them, “I have four children at home and my wife is recovering from an operation. But you see me here, I’m singing and happy. Even though it is difficult here, I do it because I have the Lord our Saviour in my heart. If all of you take Jesus as your Saviour, you too can have peace in your hearts. Without the Lord, all men are cowards because their hearts are empty.”
One of the men said to the others, “I believe what he says because he is always happy, even in time of trouble. We murmur because we are afraid of what will happen, but he doesn’t.”
They asked me to sing in Hebrew, “Take the Name of Jesus With You,” and they began to sing along. After a time of singing, a chaplain came along and demanded, “Who taught you that song?!”
Smiling, they replied, “Oh, we heard it from someone.”
The chaplain saw me and said, “I know who taught you.” But he said nothing to me and just went on his way. The power of God is strong.
May God bless you in America as you continue to pray for us here in Israel.