Zvi May/Jun 2002
We live in a time when the eyes of all the world are looking on us. The Lord has chosen us, saying, “Yet now hear, O Jacob, my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen” (Isa. 44:1; cf. Dt. 7:6; 14:2; Isa. 41:8). Can anything be better than to be chosen by God? Certainly not!
But God said in Isaiah,
I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass, his master’s crib, but Israel doth not know; my people doth not consider (1:2–3).
We live in a time of great trouble in Israel, and we need people who believe in the true and living God. Yet men who consider themselves wise and learned in Torah (the Five Books of Moses, the Law) call us traitors for believing in God according to the Bible. They come against us with great venom, even though we try not to treat them as they treat us.
Recently I was with many of my neighbors when a rabbi accused me of being a traitor and tried to humiliate me.
“Why do you call me a traitor?” I asked. “What have I done against my country? I fought in all our wars from 1948 through 1973, served in the military to protect our country between those wars, and now my children are on active duty.
“What have you done for the land of Israel? You have never served in the military, and not one of your children serves. Why should people consider you trustworthy but me a traitor? Where then is justice?”
All the people listening began to agree with me. So the rabbi tried to persuade them. “Do you know in whom he believes?” he asked the crowd. “He believes in This Man who persecutes our people. And because of him [This Man] came the Holocaust.”
They did not know whom he meant. “Because of whom?” one asked.
“This Man! Jesus Christ!”
“I am glad we have come on this subject,” I said. “First of all, I am happy that I do not worship in the rabbinical tradition, with its many superstitions. I believe in what is written in the Bible by the Holy Spirit of God. You, on the other hand, are afraid of the truth. You even try to stop people from reading all that is in the Bible.”
Now the rabbi was becoming more agitated. “How can you tell such a big lie?” he shouted.
I could see it was time to lay everything on the table. “Why do you never read Isaiah chapter 53 in the synagogues? Is it not in the Bible?”
“Now I know in whom he has believed!” he shouted to the crowd. But most of the people standing there did not know what we were talking about because most of them never read the Bible. This was my chance to tell them about Jesus from what was written about Him in the Hebrew Scriptures.
By now the rabbi was seething.
“You see how those who believe in This Man have such special power to convince! Be careful of him!” he shouted.
So I continued. “He told you that all who believe according to the Bible are traitors. Take a good look. Who is a traitor? Many people who call me a traitor do no work and eat the bread of charity because they are lazy. They never serve in the army and teach their children not to serve. They say they are faithful and wise in Torah, but they do not even read the Bible. Instead, they spend their lives studying commentaries and rabbinical traditions; and they learn to hate others who do not believe and act as they do.
“Yet God’s Word is clear. It is written in Proverbs 6:6, ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.’”
Then I said to the rabbi, “You are well known in this neighborhood, and you tell everyone here how much you hate me. But I am ready to receive you as a guest in my home and show you that you are making a big mistake. I told you I have believed in the Lord according to the Bible alone, and I tried to show you only what is written here, in God’s Word, because I want to point people in the right direction. I do not carry a big stack of books with me, only this Bible. Please listen to what is written in Isaiah 53:6: ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’”
Then, addressing the crowd again, I said, “All of you, think about whom the Bible speaks of here, especially you, Rabbi. I am not afraid. I have put my trust in the Lord.”
To my surprise, all the people gathered around were happy with what I said. Please pray they, too, will believe according to the Bible and put their faith in Yeshua Hamashiach, Israel’s true Savior.