Zvi Mar/Apr 2005

In Proverbs 13:3 it is written, “He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.” Today so many people curse at one another. Yet God shows us over and over again that in His Word is power and in His love is peace.

Recently I stood in line for a bus in Jerusalem when a fight broke out. Why? because one old man got into the line where he did not belong. He was so filled with hate and anger. As God had planned it, he sat next to me.

So I asked him, “What do you do when your children do not listen to you? Are you ready to kill them?”

“I am very nervous,” he said.

“Is there no one who can make you relax?”

“Are you a nerve doctor?” he asked me.

“I can show you the best way to handle your nerves,” I replied. “I can show you how you can have rest from all this madness.” Now he began to look at me earnestly, asking me how he could obtain such relief.

I asked him if he had ever read the book of Psalms. He said he had done so many times. “There is much in the Psalms that pertains to your situation and can help you change your bad thinking,” I told him. “Have you read Psalm 25?”

“I have read the entire book of Psalms, but I remember nothing. How can it help me?”

So I read Proverbs 19:21 to him: “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lᴏʀᴅ’s counsel—that will stand.”

He looked at me sadly and asked, “Who am I, that God will listen to me? I am nothing.”

“Before the Lord we are all the same,” I said. “All we must do is come before Him and open our hearts before Him. And He will listen and answer our prayers.”

But again he asked me, “How?”

“Of course, you cannot go to Him with such bad language and hate or with those nerves.” I told him about King David: “He was a ‘big,’ important man. but before the Lord, he was no bigger than you or I. And what he said in his prayer before the Lord was, ‘To You, O Lᴏʀᴅ, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed’” (Ps. 25:1–2).

I read the entire chapter to him, very slowly, so he could remember it well. Then I asked, “Are you so proud that you cannot bow down before the Lord? Have a good look, and see. This great King David fell down on his knees and said, ‘Show me Your ways, O Lᴏʀᴅ; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me’” (Ps. 25:4–5).

We had a long conversation. Even after we got off the bus, he asked me to stay with him. I could tell that his eyes were beginning to open, and he said to me, “I have never had as much patience as I have at this moment. It is not every day that I can speak like this. So let us seize the occasion and continue.”

He began to tell me about his life. He had come from a big family where all the children grew up thinking only of themselves. Faith was far from them. He said his upbringing caused his condition and that he was sorry he was so nervous because even his children lived in fear of him.

Then he wanted to know how I came to believe in the Lord. So I told him: “Your past is nothing. You were born in Israel. I grew up in Poland during the war, when we were jealous of those who died. I was in the Warsaw Ghetto.” My story fascinated him, and he listened intently.

“When I arrived in Israel, I thought I had survived because of my cleverness and strength. but one day, as I fought in our War of Independence [1948] and men were dying all around me, I realized someone was caring for me and protecting me. Then I began to read the Bible. And this verse came before my eyes: ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, Then the Lᴏʀᴅ will take care of me’ [Ps. 27:10]. Here I received the answer. I learned who was protecting me.”

He wanted to read the Psalm. So I gave him the Bible I carry with me, and he read. This time his voice showed no trace of nerves, as it had before.

“I believe you,” he said. “This is the way to be normal. I do not have to go to all those doctors anymore. Here is what I have been looking for all along. I never thought this day would come.”

He was somewhat apprehensive because some of his family is Orthodox. but he told me, “Truth conquers all things.” And with those words, we parted.

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