Can you imagine worrying if the sun is going to come up tomorrow? Why worry about things of much lesser importance like if God is going to supply your needs or if something awful might happen tomorrow? If that sun doesn’t come up we would all be ‘in a heap of trouble.’ If God is faithful to keep that sun coming up (Jer. 31:35-36) He’s also going to see that you have your needs met. As Yeshua said to the synagogue official named Ya’ir (Jairus) after he was told that his daughter was dead, ‘Don’t be afraid…only believe’ (Mark 5:22-43).
It was Tuesday, February 13th, 2007 and we had just boarded the train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Ruti hadn’t yet sat down in her seat when a young woman about 23 years old asked her, ‘What are you two?’ It’s the biblical clothes. I had just taken my seat in the next set of seats past the girl and I began to pray that the Lord would open her up to what Ruti was sharing. Ruti stood for a few minutes and told her about Messiah Yeshua and then she sat down across the aisle from Gali. I continued to pray for Gali. Her name means, ‘one who follows or obeys commands.’ May it be so, Lord, that she follows Your commands!
After about five minutes I picked up our water bottle that we take with us when we go to Jerusalem and moved into the next set of seats. On the train there are four seats to one section (two seats facing two others) and across the aisle there’s another four seats. Gali was sitting on a seat next to the aisle and Ruti was sitting parallel to her in her aisle seat. I sat down opposite Ruti.
For the next 50 minutes, Ruti shared about Messiah Yeshua and the life that He gives us. She spoke of both personal experiences and from the Tanach about how Yeshua was our Messiah. Gali was very interested and said that she was searching. She absorbed everything that Ruti had to share and asked her questions like, why do Christians hate the Jews, and why don’t they keep the Sabbath, etc.
When we parted at Beit Shemesh (her stop) we were told that the train wasn’t going on to Jerusalem like it always had before. The schedules had been changed on Jan. 1st and we would have a two hour layover. A two hour layover?! We wanted to eat lunch in Jerusalem by noon and now we wouldn’t even get there till 1:00 P.M. After the initial shock we took it as ‘from the Lord’ and lifted it up to Him, asking Him that He would use us even though we hadn’t planned on being in Beit Shemesh that day. He did! I just love that faithful witness in the sky. That sun just always comes up no matter how much I might worry that it won’t.
The mall was only a four minute walk from the train station so we walked there and looked in the stores as we passed by. It’s an open air mall with each store having its own entrance into it from the street. We were walking slow because Ruti had called Ofira in Eilat on my cellphone and was speaking with her.
I was thinking that if I had taken the telephone number of Marc, a Jewish man from Canada who recently returned to live in Beit Shemesh, that I would have given him a call. Nicole, a friend of ours in Canada, had given us his number, but I didn’t have it on me. Nonetheless, I asked the Lord to have us ‘bump into him’ somewhere in the mall if that’s what He wanted.
Ofira was going through a tough time. Nothing out of the ordinary for one who had recently come to the Lord. Just some physical and financial problems, but just the week previous she had blasted that ol’ Devil by leading two Israeli Russian Jews to their Messiah!
She was quite adamant now about Yeshua being her Messiah, telling us how she stayed up until 3:00 A.M. with them, and an Israeli Russian Jewish woman who already believed, showing them from the Tanach where it pointed to Yeshua. When she shared with us what she had said, both Ruti and I were very impressed and told her so. She said that she had a good teacher. I think I’m beginning to glow a little like that sun now. The next day I sent her two Russian Bibles to give to those fellows.
Back at Beit Shemesh, after having walk the length of the mall (it’s really just one long clump of stores in a straight line), we settled on a store that had washing machines, refrigerators, televisions and digital cameras. I had been asked by a number of peole to send them photos of me in my biblical clothes and so I thought it might be nice to look at some digital cameras.
Doron, an Israeli man about 26 years old, helped us, showing us some digital cameras. We settled on one, but we didn’t have the money for it with us, which was very good. The one we wanted didn’t have a manual in English and with my expertise in digital cameras amounting to zilch, we weren’t in a hurry to buy it. He tried to get a manuel and they told him that they would mail it to us, but to this day we haven’t received it. There’s an old saying in Missouri: ‘I’ll believe it when I see it!’ We would eventually buy a digital camera on another day in Tel Aviv.
While we were discussing all this a man by the name of Avraham, about 60 years old, came up and we began to speak of Messiah. He had spent much time in the religious schools, but he was very closed about there ever being a Messiah. Doron the salesman heard the conversation. Avraham intentionally left the Prophecy Card I had given to him on Doron’s desk when he walked away.
We finished with Doron, him saying that they would mail out a manual for us. I thanked him and I asked for his business card so I could call him back when I got the manual. He didn’t have any cards of his own. This big store didn’t supply their salespeople with cards. I was a little astonished at that, and said so, because it was a huge electric franchise in Israel. Doron made a comment that his salary barely helped to provide for his family.
I asked him how many children he had and he told us ‘one with another on the way.’ I reached into my wallet and gave him 100 shekels (about $24) and told him that we appreciated his helping us. He was very grateful. He said that we were nice people. I tell ya, this love of God thing, once it gets ‘a hold of ya it’s incredible! You get to doing some strange things. Don’t have to be worrying about that ol’ sun coming up,’ either!
It was about 11:45 A.M. and Ruti was getting hungry so we checked out the falafel stand, but decided against the fried falafel balls in favor of the supermarket next door. We bought some sliced turkey, cheese and bread and headed for the train which was due to leave at 12:27 P.M—in just ten minutes! We made it and sat down in some seats and proceeded to fix our sandwiches. They tasted real good! I’ll tell ya, when you’re hungry, just about anything’ll taste good! I know. I was hungry one time, didn’t have any money and didn’t have a thing in the house ‘cept some peanut butter. I didn’t like peanut butter, but that day it tasted real sweet.
By the time we had finished eating our sandwiches we could see the beginning of Jerusalem. It was about half an hour from Beit Shemesh. We got in a cab and headed for the downtown area. As the Lord would have it, and because He had rearranged our day, we just happened to see Yehudit (Judith) a believing Jewish woman in her early 60’s who grew up in Virginia and was a missionary with her husband (now with the Lord) and her three small children in Hong Kong 20–30 years ago.
Yehudit was lunching with her friend Natali, another Jewish believer, at an outdoor cafe. They were sharing a tuna fish sandwich and a smoked salmon sandwich with cream cheese. I think we Jews invented those sandwiches. That’s the only way I can explain their prevalence among the Jewish people. We sat down with them and had a wonderful time of fellowship. Ruti and I needed that and our Lord provided for it.
Yehudit told us that when she was first in Hong Kong the Chinese were overshadowing the place and Yehudit told the Lord that if they came to her and put a gun to her head and said, ‘Christ or Communism!’ she would say, ‘Christ!’ If they came to her and chopped off her finger, then asked her again, and chopped off another finger, etc., she didn’t know how long she could take it or whether she would say, ‘Communism.’
She was out with some Christian workers one day proclaiming Christ in a soccer field when some Chinese youth began throwing sand at them. Yehudit said, ‘I just knew we were going to be stoned to death’ (there were stones all around the place). One of the Christian workers said, ‘Let all these Chinese go to Hell! Let’s get out of here!’ As he said that the clouds parted and a shaft of light descended from the Heavens and encircled Yehudit. She said,
‘I felt Hands around me, hugging me, holding me, protecting me and I just knew it was Jesus! I felt such peace. I looked for those Hands, but I couldn’t see them with my eyes, but from that moment on I knew that if there ever came a terrible time of testing, He would be with me.’
Yehudit stayed there a while longer that day and continued to proclaim the Lord Jesus in the midst of the sandstorm. It never got to rock throwing, but with the temperature at 100 degrees and the humidity at 80% it sure wasn’t any picnic. They left after that and climbed up a mountain to some village. The interpreter went in to an elderly woman’s home and was there for a few minutes.
The rest of the party stayed outside in the heat, sweating and trying to take the sand off their sticky bodies, waiting and wondering when the shouting and the next sandstorm would come. To their amazement the interpreter came out with some chairs and fresh water and said that the woman wanted to hear about Jesus and that anytime they came they could find chairs and water for themselves at her place and could preach the Word from her home.
We must have been with Yehudit and Natali for an hour and a half and when we left we all thanked God in prayer, right at that table in the sight and hearing of a number of Israelis, for Yeshua ordering our day and bringing all of us together. If it wasn’t for that train re-scheduling us we never would have seen Yehudit and Natali. The interruptions of Man are just opportunities for our Lord to order our steps.
Ruti and I picked up some thread and things at the cloth store and headed for The Village Green buffet restaurant where we got some hot soup and tea. It was getting cool and the sun was behind a lot of clouds. We could have eaten something with Yehudit and Natali earlier, but we hadn’t been hungry then.
At the restaurant we met Daniella, a Jewish woman in her early twenties and offered her our Acts 2–4 sheet, but she took one look at it and told us she didn’t want it. On our way out an elderly man motioned to us. He was about 80 years old, six feet tall and thin. He was a counselor for the city of Jerusalem, spoke seven languages fluently and was on the front lines in the Yom Kippor War of 1973 where Israel was almost annihilated. Israel, too proud to realize Arab hatred, was attacked by a number of Arab nations on three of her sides in that war that brought more Jewish deaths than the previous ones.
We spoke with him for about 30 minutes, showing him where Yeshua was Messiah from the Tanach, but there was no opening. His name was Even (pronounced eh-ven, which means, stone) and he lived up to the meaning of his name. On our way back to the train station we gave the cabbie the Prophecy Card about Messiah. His name was Yakov (Jacob; conniver) and on the train we spoke of Messiah to the train conductor Itzhak (Isaac; laughter) and gave him a Card, too. He has been in Israel 15 years, having come out of Iraq.
I think it was about 9 P.M. when we finally got inside our apartment door. We were wiped out. I’ll tell ya, this getting older is something else! Trekking all over Israel at our age?! I was 55 and Ruti was 53 and it seemed like we had stayed up for two days in a row. I remember staying up all night in seminary 25 years ago working on a paper and going to class all the next day and being less tired than I was now. We both sunk into bed and slept well, but were still tired the next day when we got up.
I went to check our mail box at the post office and on my way back on the bus I struck up a conversation with Yosi (short for Yosafe; Joseph, ‘God will add’). He was about 75 years old and liked my biblical clothes. I shared some of Messiah with him and gave him a Prophecy Card. He said he would like to have his rabbi look at it, too, and I told him that I would like to meet his rabbi and show him our Messiah in the Tanach.
I got off the bus, called Ruti and asked her if she wanted me to pick up a grilled chicken and bring it home for lunch, seeing how tired she still was. I said we could open a can of corn and there was some rye bread and that would be enough for lunch. As tired as she was she told me that she had been getting from the Lord a restaurant called Bruno’s, all morning long, and thought that we should go to eat there.
We had been there once before and had gotten a decent hamburger. That’s no a small miracle. Most Israeli hamburgers taste like fried rubber. It was getting cold, windy and dark as rain clouds moved in and I thought it would be better to get the chicken and go home and eat it as we watched the rain fall from our apartment than being rained on by going to Bruno’s. I yielded to Ruti, though, sensing we should go to Bruno’s, as we had shared very powerfully about Messiah Yeshua with Rotem (an Israeli woman there about 20 years old) who had waited on us before.
As we left the apartment building it was just beginning to drizzle. I just knew we should have gotten that chicken! It was too late now, though. We headed toward the bus stop and I said that if the bus came first we would take it, but if a cab came first then we would take that. A few minutes later we got into a cab and it really began to rain. By the time we got there it was raining steadily, but Bruno’s is inside a mall in Tel Aviv which has entrances and parking underneath it. The cab let us out there and we didn’t get wet, and even though the clouds had darkened the sky and the rain was coming down we just knew that that ol’ sun was out there!
We sat down and Rotem wasn’t there. Replacing her was Ortal which speaks of the sun’s light reflecting off the morning dew. We ordered our burgers, fries and some mashed potatoes on the side and Ortal asked us how we came to live in Israel. I told her, ‘It’s because of Messiah Yeshua that we’re both here.’ Well, that got her attention and for the next hour and a half we shared the love of our life with Ortal and watched as the Holy Spirit ministered to her. The last half hour she began to weep and she couldn’t stop, a clear indication of the Holy Spirit moving upon her heart. She was a little embarrassed as all this was new to her. There was also an Israeli couple next to us, as well as both female managers sitting very close, with waiters and waitresses going back and forth who could see what was happening to Ortal. She excused herself and went to the bathroom where she remained for awhile, trying to get her composure.
One of the things we had shared with both Gali and Ortal was about forgiveness and Yeshua’s very real love. I also spoke of the deity of Messiah Yeshua, which is always a big stumbling block for us Jews that worship the One True God. I explained that in Psalm two, David the King, who was also a prophet, said that God would place His Messiah on Mount Zion and declared that God would beget the Messiah, His Son. To ‘beget’ is not to create. Adam and Eve were created, but Cain and Abel were begotten in the image and likeness of their parents and were just as human as them.1
I said that in Micah 5:2 the Lord speaks through the prophet and says that the Ruler of Israel (Messiah) would be born in Bethlehem, the city of King David’s birth (for Messiah is the Son of David; 2nd Samuel 7:5-17). The prophet also wrote that this Ruler was alive ‘from ancient times, from before forever.’ How could this be is He was just human?! The ancient Rabbis saw the Messiah in the very first words spoken by God recorded in Scripture: Light, be! (‘Let there be Light!’ as it’s written in most English translations). What was that Light? It couldn’t have been be the sun, moon or the stars because they weren’t made until day four and this is the first day. The ancient Rabbis wisely understood it to be the Light of Messiah Himself, coming forth from God (conceptually the same way as a child comes forth from its mother’s womb). The Messiah is One with God the Father and also has a separate identity of His own as God the Son.
Ortal came back from the bathroom, her eyes still red, and shared with us that spiritual things mattered deeply to her, but lately she had found herself thinking too much about money and material things and how she looked. Ortal was about 21 years old and pretty with dark blonde hair. These are things that most young folks and most older folks, too, think about. We had told her about the Life that Yeshua wanted to give her, sharing some personal things out of our life as well as explaining how Yeshua could be the Messiah. She, too, like Gali the day before her, was extremely attentive to our words and we felt our hearts going out to her.
She began to weep again, not being able to stop. The managers and other staff were asking her if she was alright and she told them that she was, as she wiped away more tears. One of the managers, just before she left, said to Ortal, ‘Tomorrow I want to know everything of what they said to you.’ She remembered us from the time before with Rotem who also listened to our words of Life. Before we left Ruti prayed with Ortal, taking her hand and asking the Lord to love Ortal and to reveal Himself to her. Ortal appreciated that. We had already given her the Card and Acts 2–4 and she was excited about reading them. I’ll tell ya, this being tired has its opportunities and just before we finished our burgers, the rain, which had been coming down in buckets stopped, and yep, that ol’ sun just came a’shinin’ through! Ruti and I looked at each other and just smiled.
Ortal invited us to return and we thanked her. We told her that if she had any questions or just wanted to speak with Ruti or me, to give us a call. We left Bruno’s and immediately began to pray for the Lord to protect the Seed that had been planted and to Water and Nurture it.
Next we headed for the Cell-Com place because we needed to get something for Ruti’s cellphone. We had ministered to El’ad (God is forever; a young observant religious Jewish man) and Ronit (‘dance with joy!’ a very pretty secular girl about 20 years old) some months back when we had picked up Ruti’s cellphone. They were very glad to see us today, but no mention of the Prophecy Cards that we had left with them. We hadn’t shared the Name of Messiah with them at that time, but both were effected by the words we had said. After we got done with business El’ad asked about Messiah. I could tell he hadn’t looked at the Card. I launched out into the deep and gave him Acts 2–4. He scanned it and said, ‘Jesus?!
El’ad hadn’t been expected that. He told me he liked me, but how could Yeshua, or Yeshu as he called Him, be the Messiah?! All his life he had heard from everyone he knew that Yeshua wasn’t the Messiah. I told him that they were ignorant of the Truth and that he had believed the lie. I asked him why he thought Yeshua wasn’t the Messiah and like most, he couldn’t tell me anything definite. All he ‘knew’ was that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah. We spoke some more and the Lord must have been working in his heart. He allowed me to give him another Prophecy Card, saying that he would look those cites up. ‘Great!’ I said. ‘Then we can talk about Messiah from the Tanach.’ He smiled and went off to do some work before he left in a few minutes at five o’clock. Later, I would find out that Ruti had been intensely praying that God would lift the veil over his heart, mind and eyes, and that the Lord would remove any and all religious blockages and pierce his heart with my words.
Ronit was in another world, the world of a pretty girl being attractive. After we left Ruti said that Ronit had gotten harder because of the sins she was in. Being about 5 P.M. it was time for a shift change and Ronit and El’ad gave way to Li’or (My Light). We spoke of Messiah Yeshua to him and at first he wasn’t receptive, but by the time we left he took both the Prophecy Card and Acts 2–4 and was grateful to get it.
Well, we got home and low and behold, we were still tired. So by 9 P.M. we were in bed, but I couldn’t sleep. It was the burger. Oh, what a burger and this was a relatively good one! It was still with me, deep inside my belly, telling me that I had eaten it. I told the Lord,
‘Just look at what I do for You! I ate that burger! I should get a medal for going above and beyond the call of duty today!’ Oh, I wish I had had that chicken…
I tossed and turned and napped every once-in-a-while, the burger telling me, ‘Hello’ every so often in my burps. By three A.M. my stomach had dealt with it, but at 4:10 A.M. I awoke and knew I had to get up. My mouth was very dry (from all the salt and pepper that the cook had placed on it. I had forgotten to tell them not to put anything on it) and so I got some mineral water and took about 20 gulps. Even then my throat still felt a little dry. I was tired, but I thought it was good to be up early, to pray and read the Word. It was special to see that ol’ sun come up.
Please pray for Gali in Beit Shemesh (which by the way, is the city near where David slew Goliath) and Ortal (the girl at Bruno’s). Pray that whatever would keep them from coming to Yeshua would be taken out of the way and that Yeshua would draw them to Himself by His Spirit and that they would walk all the days of their lives with the King of Israel in His Torah and be great witnesses to other Israelis. Thank you!
1. See Yeshua: God the Son at http://www.seedofabraham.net/yeshua.html for how both the Father and the Son can be God.