Zvi Nov/Dec 2010
We live in a special situation in Israel. Most of the world is against us, particularly the Muslim countries that surround us. I have lived in this part of Jerusalem for more than 35 years, and my children grew up playing with their Arab neighbors. They were friends, and there was no hatred.
But as we say here, where there is no truth in faith, there is great hate. Today my children’s Arab friends are adults. And they have blind hatred for Israel.
Recently, after many years, I ran into some of them. They recognized me and asked about my sons. “Where are they?” one asked. “Your sons were good friends of ours. Now they hate us.”
I replied, “They do not hate you. We do not keep hatred in our hearts. I have taught them not to hate, but to love.”
“Even to love those who hate you?” one asked.
“You see,” I replied, “we have believed in the living God. And the Lord teaches us not to hate but to love one another. Take a good look at yourselves. Hatred takes first place in your lives.”
“What books do you read that you speak such nice words—even to your sworn enemy?” one asked.
“Would you like to see the Book?” I replied.
“Yes,” they all agreed. “We want to read it. And we want to know who wrote it.”
I told them that, if they read it, in time they will come to know for themselves the One who wrote it. So I showed them the Holy Bible. They were very surprised.
“You know,” one told me, “we want to read this book. But our parents are Muslims and are fanatic. They would kill us if they saw us reading the Jewish Bible.”
I told them the Bible was given to all people on Earth, not only Jewish people. We had a long conversation, and they wanted to know if our sons believe the Bible.
“Yes,” I replied. “It is the most important foundation of their faith.”
“Do you have a Bible in our language, Arabic? And how do you know our language?” one asked.
“The Lord blessed me,” I said. “I have never studied languages, but I can speak 10 because God has enabled me to do so. And here we are together, speaking nicely to one another. Why?Because we speak about the things the Lord wants us to speak about.”
While we were talking, two of their Arab friends were listening. “We, too, know your sons,” one said. “Many years ago we played football [soccer] together. We also want one of those books—but only in Arabic.” They also asked how I came to know Arabic.
“I have never studied languages,” I told them. “But the Lord blessed me, so I can come to people like you and bring them His salvation, as it is written in this Book. This is the Holy Bible. And here it is not written to hate your friends. No. It tells us about faith and love. And those of us who have believed in the Lord no longer hate but have found love because God gives us the ability to love.”
Now they all wanted a Bible. “Can you give us this Book?” they each asked. “Are you sure this Book is not only for Jews?”
“I am sure,” I replied. “This Book is for everyone on the earth.” They asked me many, many questions. They even asked in what language they must go to the Lord. “The language does not matter,” I said. “What matters is that you go to Him with your heart. Pray to Him, and He will answer you.” I showed them Isaiah 49:3–8, where it is written,
And now the Lᴏʀᴅ says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him…”It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.” Thus says the Lᴏʀᴅ, the Redeemer of Israel, their Holy One, to Him whom man despises, to Him whom the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers: “Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lᴏʀᴅ who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel; and He has chosen You” (vv. 5–7).
They wanted very much to read what was written there. “This is the beginning,” one said. “We will come one day and speak with you about what we have not spoken about. Are you ready?”
“It is my duty before the Lord to be ready,” I replied.
Please pray for these men. We know that in prayer we see the mighty power of God.