Zvi Jan/Feb 2004
History has shown us that where there is no faith there is hate. So it was with Hitler when the Nazis in Germany sang, “Today Germany belongs to us. Tomorrow, the world.”
Then came Saddam Hussein. Was he better than Hitler? No! Yet in all this, we are not forsaken. The Lord has said, “Fear not, thou worm, Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee” (Isa. 41:14).
Many times the Arabs have come against us. They greatly outnumber us and seek to kill us. But God tells us not to fear them because He keeps us from being destroyed.
Where I live there are many Arabs. They are so sure they will have victory over us. Here in Israel they have full freedom to say what they want, not as in Muslim countries. And they use this freedom to speak with great hatred. But I never reply to them in that way.
I have lived in this neighborhood for thirty years and have good relationships with all my Arab neighbors. My children played with their children. But now things are different.
Every day these Arabs are taught to hate the Jewish people and kill us. So one day I went out to speak to some of my neighbors.
“You speak in the name of Allah and shed blood,” I said. “But we who believe in the living God want peace. We do not have such hatred. And even now, after all you have done to us, we are ready to forgive you and become friends. Why? Because the Lord has forgiven us for all we have done. So all of us who believe in Him according to the Bible are ready to forgive all of you.”
Soon more Arabs arrived. One said to me, “You came here to Palestine and by power you occupy our land. Where is it written that this land belongs to you? “
This was the question I had been waiting many hours for them to ask.
I read for them Genesis 15:18; 17:8; 35:9–13; 48:4; and Exodus 23:31.
“Now,” I said, “you show me in your books where it is written that this land does not belong to the Jewish people but to Islam. Also, tell me where Islam was when this was written.”
As everyone knows, the Qur’an did not exist when the Bible was written. The Qur’an was not written until thousands of years after God promised this land to the children of Israel.
“God chose the Jewish people to bring His salvation to the ends of the earth and to be a light to the Gentiles,” I told them.
“You hate us because we are not with you,” one replied. “How long will we continue to be your enemies?”
This was my opportunity to show them what God, by His grace, has done. I read them John 3:16. It was a big surprise to them.
“You are a Jew. You do not believe in the New Testament,” someone said. “Why are you talking about the New Testament?”
So I turned to Deuteronomy 18:15: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken.”
“About whom does this speak?” I asked. Now I had a chance to talk about the Lord. They wanted to know how I came to believe in Jesus, and I explained that I came to believe because I read the Bible.
“And if we would all believe in Him,” I said, “we would not speak about war and hate, but about love. Because in Him is no hate. The Bible tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. There is only one God, the Lord. He is the One you must worship.”
Then someone asked, “How can you say that we can all believe in this One in whom you have believed?”
“Everyone can be saved,” I said. And because they always want to see everything in black and white, I showed them Jeremiah 31:34, where it is written,
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD; for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
It is important that they know in whom we have believed and how they can be saved. They are a stiff-necked people and more stubborn even than the ultra-Orthodox. But God can save them. As we say in Israel, “If God wills it, even a broom can shoot.”