Zvi Jul/Aug 2004
Everyone talks about the “road map” to peace. They say, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14). And there will be no peace until the Prince of Peace comes.
And who is always the guilty one because there is no peace? It is never our enemies, who try every day to kill us and take our land. No, it is always Israel.
For many years I have lived in the same neighborhood with many Arabs. We were friends. But now they are afraid to speak with me because the other Arabs will shun them and put them on a list to be killed.
Fanatic Muslims have done much damage here. They preach hatred and try to convince people to become suicide-bombers, sending them to die. They do not know the ways of God or the love of Christ, so they follow evil leaders and preach hatred.
For many years now I have talked with these Arabs and told them that God gave this land to the Jewish people. I have shown them what is written in the Bible and prayed for them.
Not long ago I had a big surprise on a bus. I was on the way to Jerusalem when an Arab man approached me. He was among those who always argued zealously against me.
Many times we spoke, and I would tell him the Bible teaches us to love our enemies. He would become angry and ask, “How can this be when you are fighting against us?”
So I told him, “If you will not come against us with this great hate and kill little children and mothers, of course we can be good friends. But the trouble is that you put your trust in evil leaders who send you out to commit suicide.
“Your leaders promise that you will go to heaven, become shahid (holy), and receive in Paradise seventy-two young girls. Think about this. Ask these great sheiks, who call themselves so faithful, if even one of them has sent his own son. They are telling you nothing but lies. Their promises will never be fulfilled.
“Because you are far away from the love of the Lord, you are going like poor sheep to be killed; and you also are killing little children. Why is all this happening? Because you follow wicked men, not Almighty God, the God of love.
“Not everything can be done by the sword.” I showed him proof of this fact. In 1948 we were only half a million Jews with few weapons. Five Arab nations came against us to destroy us. But did they win? No, because the Lord fought for us; and the victory was His. As it is written, “If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? Thou shalt not be afraid of them, but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt” (Dt. 7:17–18).
Because I speak Arabic and have lived here so long, I often meet Arabs at the bus stop. And I have great opportunities to present the gospel of Christ and teach of God’s love.
When I saw this Arab man approach me on the bus, I wondered, What can this mean? Why is he coming near me? Does he want to fight?
But to my great surprise, he was extremely friendly.
“You know the Bible that you gave me to read? I have been reading it and have been receiving many things from it,” he said. “It is not like the Qur’an. It does not teach people to hate those who are not with you. I read here in this book, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you’ [Mt. 5:44]. Can this be?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said. “It can be when you believe in Christ. He is the One who is our great example.” I read for him John 3:16 and Isaiah 53. I also read Galatians 5:13–14, where it is written, “By love serve one another. . . . Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
“We can do this,” I said, “because of His love for us. And in Him is everlasting love. As it is written, ‘I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn thee’ [Jer. 31:3].’’
Just a few days earlier this man was fiercely against me. But now he is my friend. God and His Word have changed him. Truly, it is amazing what this great love of Christ can do!