Zvi Sep/Oct 2012
I have lived in the same neighborhood in Jerusalem for 37 years, and now I am becoming important to my Arab neighbors here. Why? Because I speak Arabic and am willing to spend many hours discussing the land of Israel with them. I tell them it belongs to the Jewish people. They tell me it belongs to Islam and that we Jews have no right to be here and should live far away, as in Europe.
They even come to my home to talk. Of course, in Israel they are free to say what they want. Often they bring their Muslim fundamentalist spiritual leaders who are certain they can use the Bible and Qur’an to make me look foolish.
Recently they came to my home again. This time they brought reinforcements: a big contingent of Muslim leaders. Of course, this was not the first time I have met with such people. They came with great confidence that they could put me down; but I came with the Holy Spirit of God and His Word, which is eternal. As it is written, “Forever, O Lᴏʀᴅ, Your word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).
I have lived in Israel for 65 years and have fought in many wars, including the War of Independence in 1948. I have seen with my own eyes how God has been faithful to us. “In 1948,” I told them, “we were only half a million people, and you came against us with your many armies and millions of soldiers. You were so full of confidence that in a few hours you would cast us into the sea. Most of us were Holocaust survivors. We were weak, with few weapons. Yet who won?”
One of the Muslims replied, “You always tell us God was on your side. We want to see where such a thing is written! You think if you show us fictitious books written by your rabbis, we will say, ‘Amen.’ No! We will not believe it! How long will you continue to believe what your rabbis write? Show us from the Bible, in our own language!”
Now they had come to the important point. “Our Bible,” I said, “was not written by the rabbis of whom you speak. Our Bible was written by the Holy Spirit of God. If we had been without help from heaven, where would we be now? Do you believe what is written in the book of Psalms?”
“Yes,” one replied. They all agreed they believe the Psalms.
So I opened an Arabic Bible to Psalm 124 and gave it to them. “Read,” I said.
“If it had not been the Lᴏʀᴅ who was on our side,” let Israel now say—“If it had not been the Lᴏʀᴅ who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us.”…Blessed be the Lᴏʀᴅ, who has not given us as prey to their teeth….Our help is in the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ, who made heaven and earth (vv. 1–3, 6, 8).
“So who was on our side if not God Himself?” I asked. I also showed them Isaiah 41:14, where it is written, “‘Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you,’ says the Lᴏʀᴅ and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
Then they became greatly interested in seeing where it is written that God gave the land of Israel to the Jewish people. So I had them read Genesis 35:9–13; 48:3–4; Exodus 3:8; and Deuteronomy 7:6–8.
They saw that I showed them from the Bible alone, where it says to whom the land of Israel belongs and why our enemies will never be able to destroy us.
“So now you can see who is on our side,” I said. “Now you can see that God does what He says. He has promised Israel, ‘I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries’” (Ex. 23:22).
Still confident they could prove me wrong, they began searching the Qur’an. But all they could find were verses that curse everyone who is not a Muslim. They could not disprove anything I had shown them from the Bible.
So I asked them, “What do you say to all you have seen with your own eyes? You know I did not write what you read. I showed you from the Bible, written by the Holy Spirit. His Word is eternal. This land belongs to Israel. It is also our duty to bring His salvation to the ends of the earth. It is written in His Word that Israel is His servant [Isa. 49:3].”
They read everything I showed them, and so we finished our conversation.