Zvi Jan/Feb 2002
First, I wish to express my sorrow to the many families who are suffering because of what happened in America on September 11. It was a terrible tragedy. We are familiar with tragedy in Israel. Every day we have funerals to bury the victims of terrorism. And we know how deep is the anguish of losing those who are most dear to us because of violence. Where there is no faith, there is hate. We are praying for you in America.
According to the United Nations, Israel is always wrong. So many of our people, especially innocent women and children, die or become crippled by suicide bombs. But the UN always finds Israel guilty. It does not seem to matter to anyone that 56 Muslim countries dominate the UN, while we are only one tiny country fighting to stay alive. Yet God tells us not to be afraid:
Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing, and they that strive with thee shall perish. Fear not, thou worm, Jacob, . . . I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 41:11, 13).
Where I live, many Palestinian Arabs surround me. Many of them hate us very much. But I walk among them and try to show them that they are living in deep blindness. When I see them, I smile and greet them nicely in their own language, asking politely, “How are you?”
Recently, after I greeted a group of Arabs in this manner, one looked at me and replied angrily, “Have you not seen the headlines?”
“Yes,” I said. “These I see every day. I know what is in the news. Do you know what is in the Ten Commandments?”
“Certainly,” he replied.
“Tell me what is written there.”
“You must ask our sheik; he knows the answer.”
So I told him, “It is written, ‘Thou shalt love . . . thy neighbor as thyself’ (Lk. 10:27). And you are our neighbors.”
“This is nice,” they all agreed. “But how do you expect us to love you since you are our enemies?”
Now was my opportunity to show them that, by faith in the Lord, all things are possible. “We cannot do this in our own strength,” I said. “But, as it is written in Zechariah 4:6, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.’ We can be good friends if we believe in the Lord because He is love. And He has told us to pray for our enemies and bless them” (Lk. 6:28; Rom. 12:14; 1 Pet. 3:8–9).
“Does your Quran tell you to pray for those who persecute you?” I asked. “Your leaders are blind. They tell you stories filled with hatred; and you believe them and are even ready to become suicide bombers and make your children suicide bombers as well, all because of hatred. We see this every day. Your leaders say they are godly people. But if they were godly, they would not be sending their children to be killed this way.”
We spoke for a long time. They asked me to show them where it is written to love one’s enemies. “It is hard to believe,” they said. So I showed them the truth from God’s Word. It was a big surprise for them when they read it for themselves.
“Can you really do this?” one asked.
“I am not perfect,” I said. “But we can truly love our enemies if we receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. Only then can we do what otherwise would seem impossible.”
“Why do you speak to us about Jesus?” another asked. So I began to teach them about God from the beginning. You must go slowly with these people. They wanted to know where everything was written, so I showed them. They asked me how I came to believe in Christ, so I explained that also. This is the only way to come to such individuals, with patience and love. It is important to show them the great difference between people who believe in Christ and people such as their bloodthirsty leaders.
I showed them we can make peace only by His love, not by hatred. We spoke for such a long time. Then they asked me if I could give them a copy of the New Testament, which I did gladly.
Even though we live like sworn enemies, through God’s love we can become the best of friends. Before we parted, I read them Ephesians 6:10–17, which teaches about the armor of God. They have promised to meet with me again. I am anxious to see them and pray that they will come.