Zvi May/Jun 2010
It is written in Proverbs 19:21, “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lᴏʀᴅ’s counsel—that will stand.” We cannot know what tomorrow will bring, so we must be ready to serve the Lord each day, remembering our days are numbered. But many people do not think this way. They act as though they will live hundreds of years, and they are confident in themselves and do not consider the Lord.
Sometimes these people try to make trouble for those of us who believe in Christ. Not long ago a 75-year-old ultra-Orthodox woman brought her Orthodox lady friends to my home, determined to do a great mitzvah (good deed) and show them how active she is in opposing Jewish people like me who believe in Jesus.
Because I am her neighbor, she did everything in her power to drive me from my home. But I have lived in this neighborhood of Jerusalem for more than 35 years and am not about to leave. So she came to my home one day with some of her friends.
“I have an open door. You are welcome,” I told them. Immediately she began attacking me and telling me long stories that she heard from her rabbis, trying to display her knowledge. But I spoke to her using only the Bible.
“You see,” she told the ladies. “He is trying to make us Christians. He is using a Christian book. He is reading to us from one of his Christian books.”
Then a woman asked, “Can you show us what you are reading?”
So I showed her my Bible; and they all saw I was reading from Deuteronomy 6, where it is written, “Hear, O Israel: The Lᴏʀᴅ our God, the Lᴏʀᴅ is one!” (v. 4). They looked at the lady with confusion; and one said with surprise, “He is reading from our Bible!”
“Yes,” I said, “because there is only one God and only one Holy Bible, where it is written about Him.”
So they began to ask me many questions and wanted to know how I came to believe in “This One,” meaning Jesus. “You are not the first people to ask this question,” I said.
“Of course, now you will try to tell us that it is also written about Him in the Bible,” one of the ladies said.
“You see,” I replied, “I am not like you. I do not follow after old stories told by rabbis and dreams told by men who claim to be holy. You follow them. And you believe what you hear. Look at the Book from which I am reading. It is the Holy Bible, the Word of God. Is it not kosher [suitable] enough for you?
“You put your faith in stories, not in the Word of God. And soon your lives will be over. And then what will happen? What will become of you after you leave this life? Have your teachers prepared you to receive everlasting life according to the Bible? Or will you end up facing (as we say here in Israel) the seven halls of hell?”
They were surprised to hear me speak with such directness. Soon they began to wonder why this woman brought them to me. I told them, “The Word of the Lord is eternal. It is written, ‘Forever, O Lᴏʀᴅ, Your word is settled in heaven’” (Ps. 119:89).
The women were in our home for a few hours and left on friendly terms. Later I learned the 75-year-old woman had died. She had no one to help with her affairs. So I helped. Because everyone knew I was her neighbor, they asked me to come to her home during the seven days of mourning and speak to everyone. So I went, and I spoke about the faith and about the One who “was wounded for our transgressions,…bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5). About Him it is written, “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lᴏʀᴅ has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (vv. 5–6).
One of her friends asked me, “How can you be so friendly to people who are so against you?”
I replied, “This is also a big part of our faith in the Lord. It is written, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mt. 22:39). I told her I was happy to come and speak about true faith in the Lord. And she told me everyone gladly received what I said from the Bible.