Zvi Oct/Nov 1993
Many times I am called by people who are having difficulties and I do what I can to help them. Recently a man who was in a state of deep depression called and asked me to visit him. Of course, I was happy to do so because a friend in need is a friend indeed.
When I arrived at his home, he told me about his problems, and then he lamented, “No one ever listens to me.” I told him, “There is someone who is always there to listen to your difficulties.” He said, “Tell me who it is.” I continued, “I have experienced many hard situations in my life, and I always go to the same address for comfort.” “Can you give me that address?” he asked. “Yes,” I replied, as I opened my Bible and read Psalm 56:11, “In God have I put my trust; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” Proverbs 3:5 and 6, “Trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” and Psalm 34:18 and 19, “The Lᴏʀᴅ is near unto those who are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lᴏʀᴅ delivereth him out of them all.”
These are very helpful portions of Scripture to share with people as depressed as this man was, and he seemed surprised that I had found just the right words to say at the right time. He asked, “How did you find these Scriptures?” “Very simply,” I replied. “I have put my trust in the living God, and He enables me to understand His written Word. You should know these passages yourself because you have lived a long life, and you told me that you go to the synagogue often. Surely you know that it is clearly written in Deuteronomy 4:29, ‘if … thou shalt seek the Lᴏʀᴅ thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.’”
With a person like this, it is very hard to bring the conversation around to the subject of faith in Christ, but as it is written in 2 Timothy 2:24, “the servant of the Lord must … be … patient.” I therefore silently praised the Lord that He had led me to this man and that he seemed grateful that I had taken the time to come and speak with him and listen to his troubles.
I realized that he knew nothing about the Lord Jesus except that he had been told Jesus was an “objectionable type,” and so I continued to speak with him, hoping for an opportunity to witness about the Lord. Finally the man himself gave me the perfect opportunity without even realizing it. He asked if other people suffered like he had, and I immediately opened my Bible to Isaiah 53 and read the entire chapter to him. I then explained, “This chapter speaks about the Lord and describes His great suffering and crucifixion. For whom did He suffer and die, if not for people like us?”
The man then became defensive and said, “That kind of thing is not written in the Jewish Bible. It is only written in the Christian books.” I showed him my Bible so he could see that I had been reading from the Old Testament, not the New Testament. I then read Zechariah 12:10, “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” “Who was pierced,” I asked, “if not the Lord Jesus Christ? Also, He was from the tribe of Judah, the house of David, and was born in Bethlehem. All of these things were foretold by our own Jewish prophets.”
He then asked to look at the Bible again so he could be sure that I was really reading from the Old Testament. “Perhaps I will go to the rabbi and ask him what he thinks about this,” he commented. I responded, “It is certainly your privilege to do so, but you have been listening to the rabbis all your life, and they have never given you a clear explanation of how to have true faith in the living God. Those false teachers spend their entire lives studying the books of commentary, but they know nothing about the Bible, which was written by the Holy Spirit of God.”
The man asked if I had any other books, and I replied, “No. The Bible tells me everything I need to know about God, and it was the means He used to bring me to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus. By reading the Bible alone, you will learn all about Jesus and His great suffering on our behalf.” I then turned to Psalm 22 and read how they pierced Jesus’ hands and feet and divided His garments and cast lots for them. Then I said, “This happened when the Lord was crucified for the sins of mankind, including you and me. It is all true. But if you still do not believe that the Old Testament speaks about the Lord Jesus, then take this Bible, cast it into the garbage, and continue to dance around the golden calf of your commentary books.
“When I arrived here today, you told me that you were in a difficult situation and that no one would listen to your troubles. My best advice to you is to turn to the Lord. Do what King David did when he was in trouble. If you read the Psalms, you will find that David prayed, asking God to lead him, guide him, strengthen him when he was weak, heal him, save him from his enemies, and teach him His ways. David was the greatest king in Israel’s history, and yet he humbled himself, and the Lord heard his prayers, forgave his sins, and gave him the victory. Perhaps you think that you are nothing compared with King David, but remember that God said to Jacob, ‘Fear not, thou worm, Jacob … I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel’ (Isa. 41:14).
“My dear friend, take a good look in the mirror and see who you really are. You are a very bitter person, and it is because you are so obstinate. You are like the Israelites of old whom God called ‘a stiff-necked people’ (Ex. 32:9). You are now free to do what you like. I, for my part, have done what the Lord has commanded me to do. Ezekiel 33:7 to 9 says, ‘So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel … When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul.’ I have fulfilled my obligation to the Lord and to you. Now the choice is yours. Will you do what I have told you or not?”
Finally I could tell that his deaf ears were beginning to open and his blind eyes were beginning to see, and he became very friendly toward me. The sour expression on his face changed to a look of joy as the truth about the Lord Jesus started to penetrate his mind and heart. This conversation lasted about four hours, but I was not sorry. I would talk for a whole month to win one more person to the family of Christ. I thank the Lord that He has made me a watchman for Him, and I am ready to do His will.
I believe that this man is very close to accepting Jesus as his Savior and Messiah. Please pray for him and for me, that as I continue to visit him, he will become fruit in the Lord’s harvest.