What I Learned From My Trip To Israel – Part 2
- The Jews live in a world you and I can’t understand. Our bus driver was a man named Nir. He is a great guy. He’s 38 and he and I instantly hit it off. He has two beautiful kids. A son who is 12 and a daughter who is 6. Nir lives close to the Gaza Strip. That means that he and his family endures random rocket attacks. That’s right, ROCKET attacks. Muslims in the Gaza periodically lob random rockets at the Jewish villages and towns outside the strip. I asked Nir how often this happens. He said the last rocket attack was two and a half weeks ago. Funny, I didn’t hear anything about that on the news. Did you? Nir has a bomb shelter in his home. We have tornado shelters and the Jews have bomb shelters. His kids each week practice bomb drills in their home and school. Nir said that when the bomb siren goes off they have 20 seconds to get to cover. And on Monday night of this week, while we were in country, one of these rockets from the Gaza was shot towards the Jewish city of Ashkelon and injured a 50-year-old woman. I read about it in the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Something makes me think you didn’t hear about this back home on CNN or Fox. This is everyday life for the Jews in Israel. But the moment the Jews do anything to retaliate, the eyes of the world are on Israel and the condemnation begins. It is an amazing paradox.
- Israel wonders why we elected Obama. Everywhere we went in Israel our group was asked about President Obama. The people of Israel do not like him. Period. They view him as anti-Israel and many people believe that because of his actions, name, and heritage that he is, in fact, a Muslim. It was not uncommon for one of us to be stopped by a Jew and asked pointedly, “Why did you elect Obama?” The people of Israel are deeply concerned. They love the United States and the friendship they have with our country. We have been their only ally in a world that hates them. And they see the actions of President Obama as doing two things: 1) Jeopardizing a nation-to-nation relationship that benefits both our countries, and 2) Jeopardizing the future greatness of the United States. It was a common sentiment, “If you elect Obama for a second term, America is finished.” This from the people of a country who know what it is like to fight for everything they have and take nothing for granted.
- God has His hand on Israel. How do you explain citrus groves growing in the desert? Two-thousand year old olive trees that bloom for the first time in centuries after 1948 when Israel is declared a nation? Water that has flooded the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits on the Temple Mount, preventing Muslims from bowing and praying towards Mecca (when there has NEVER been water on the Temple Mount before)? In so many ways, small and large, the hand of God is alive and moving in Israel. It is all part of God’s grand design to finish what He started in Israel and usher in the end-of-times on the most disputed piece of real estate on the planet.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!