While I stood in front of the 300 people assembled, I could not help but feeling total amazement. On one side of the room sat both saved and unsaved Jews and on the other side of the room sat both saved and unsaved Arabs. This was not some conference discussing a road map for living together in harmony but rather my wedding!
As I waited for my bride to walk down the aisle, I couldn’t help but cry. Here I was, a Jew from birth being joined together for the rest of my life with the most incredible woman in the world who was an Arab. God certainly has a sense of humor.
The Lord graciously revealed Jesus as the promised Messiah while I was a young boy of 10 years old. I was in the upper room of a large barn in Northern Minnesota along with my father and four other Jews, all of whom had had miraculous salvation experiences. When the question was posed to me as to whether I was willing to accept Jesus into my heart, there was not a doubt in me that it was the thing I needed to do. That evening, in July of 1995, I was baptized in front of a roomful of Jewish believers in the Messiah, never again to be the same.
Beth (my wife) and I met at one of the Bible colleges that I attended and her love for the Lord was the thing that attracted me to her more than anything. We were married in 1988 and will be celebrating our 15th anniversary this summer.
Can Arab and Jew live together in unity? My answer to that is “unquestionable yes”! As deep as the enmity has historically been between these two peoples, I feel privileged that the Lord has blessed our relationship to be a testimony of His power and what he can do with the seeds of Isaac and Ishmael.
Last year at Passover, the Lord graced me with another opportunity to stand in front of a roomful of Arabs and Jews. This time it was a gathering of over 1500 Arab and Jewish believers in Tel Aviv, Israel. I was asked to speak at this conference and was so blessed to be able to share of the faithfulness of the Lord in my life and give testimony that the seed of Isaac and the seed of Ishmael can dwell together in unity. Once again, I was reduced to tears when I realized that my interpreter was an Arab believer, translating into Hebrew the testimony of the Lord through his Jewish brother.
It is God’s heart that the barriers that have divided for so many years be shattered through His Son. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is the only answer for peace in our hearts and for peace in the Middle East. Without Him, we can have ‘peace agreements’ and ‘roadmaps to peace’ but they will only be a temporary band aid on a wound that will ultimately be healed by the Messiah.