Zvi Sep/Oct 2008
A while ago I had a long conversation with our Arab neighbors here in Jerusalem. They came to me to convince me that they are holy people who are more humane than we. However, they always speak of killing us and driving us into the sea. They strap explosives onto themselves to blow us up, and they even turn their children into suicide bombers to kill us—all because they want to take our land.
As we spoke, I told them, “What you are doing is clearly written about in the Bible. Do you want me to read it, or do you want to read it yourself?” So one read, and his friends listened:
You shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lᴏʀᴅ: ‘Have you murdered and also taken possession?’” And you shall speak to him, saying, “Thus says the Lᴏʀᴅ: ‘In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs shall lick your blood, even yours’” (1 Ki. 21:19).
God was angry with King Ahab and his wife, Jezebel, for killing Naboth and stealing Naboth’s land. “This is what you are doing,” I told them. “You weep about how poor you are. What about those who have paid such a high price and lost children? Do you want to pay that price also?”
I told them, “If you would believe in the Lord, you would have special feelings for one another and be more considerate of one another. But you do not have proper faith. We, however, are ready to release hundreds of Arab prisoners—even those who have killed our women and children—to secure the release of a few kidnapped Israeli soldiers. And you say no! The only way you return our soldiers to us is in a coffin. But you pray every morning. To whom? This is your faith? To kill men, women, and children?
“You bow down before one in whom you believe. Yet in the Bible it is clearly written that we become like the one in whom we put our trust [Ps. 135:18]. We become like what we worship. What does the Lord our God say in His Law? You shall not murder! And what does your law say? That you shall kill, murder, and turn people into suicide bombers so that you can go to heaven. And you want the entire world to agree with you and become like you.”
Then one man declared, “Islam will control the world!”
It is difficult to speak to these people, yet the Lord commands us to bring His salvation to them because they walk in such great darkness. So I continued. “You have tried hard to destroy us, but we are still here. And we will survive against all our enemies who want to swallow us alive because it is so written:
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, “The Lᴏʀᴅ has done great things for them.” The Lᴏʀᴅ has done great things for us, and we are glad. Bring back our captivity, O Lᴏʀᴅ, as the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him (Ps. 126:2–6).
They quickly wanted to know where this was written. So I showed them, and they were extremely surprised to see that my Bible contains the New Testament.
One immediately asked, “How did you come to learn all this? As we can see, you have believed in Jesus Christ. How did you come to faith in Christ?This is what we want to know.”
And I was happy to tell them. “You see,” I said, “I never looked for special books about faith. What I read was the Holy Bible. It alone tells us how to know the Lord. And in this Bible, I found so many places where it is written about the Lord Jesus Christ that I learned about true faith in the living God.”
“We want to know more,” one said. “You must show us where all these things are written in the Bible. We will not leave until you show us where it is written about Jesus.”
So I gave them my Bible and showed them Isaiah 53. And from then on, they asked many, many questions, including, “Why do all Jewish people not believe as you do?”
“Many do!” I replied. “Come to our congregation and have a good look and see how many Jewish people worship with us. Even a rabbi was baptized. And we have Arabs who come to our congregation. We never go to people and say, ‘You must believe in Christ!’ No. Only God can help people believe. So we speak to them as we speak to you: step by step. They must read the Bible and see for themselves where the truth lies. Only in such a way can you come to know the Lord. And I pray that in time, you, too, will come to know and believe in Christ as your own Savior. Then you will have peace and will worship the God who loves you.”