Hate and Love

On Friday Iran’s Ahmadinejad said publicly again that Israel’s Existence Was an Insult to All Humanity. This goes along with his threats to their continued existence and denial of the Holocaust.

Okay. I have been to Auschwitz. I have met survivors. I have friends who’s relatives died in the Holocaust. But hey, some people you can’t argue with.

Whatever your thoughts on the politics of the middle east. And as a foreigner, I am willing to say…. hands up.. painful and complicated. I do not pretend to have all the answers. I was reminded of a very different set of news articles I read not long ago as I saw all of these articles with Iran’s leaders’ rants in them over the weekend.

I love Iran and I love Israel. I pray for both countries and all the different ethnicities within them. I have a few Jewish friends and many many Iranian friends. In a world where hate is so often the first reaction, the article I read earlier this summer, such a contrast to Ahmadinejad’s comments, reminds me that God is in the business of bringing the nations together…

Breaking Down The Dividing Wall Of Hostility PDF Print E-mail
IraniansIsraelis, both believers and non-believers alike were amazed to meet a group of Iranians who had come to the land with a message of peace and love. These Iranians have all come to faith in Yeshua, and are so filled with love for him and his people that they defied all cultural and political boundaries. They came to express that love on university campuses, in congregations, and on the streets of Israel.

“A sweet surprise was waiting for students in their break on Wednesday” reported the University of Haifa on its website newspage. “Among the many stalls were young Iranian exiles who had set up a booth with a big heart and the inscription “WE LOVE ISRAEL” and distributed traditional Persian sweets to students. “We do not care what the politicians say, we love Israel and Israelis,” said the group leader”.
There has been a movement of secular Israelis who have wanted to reach out to Iranians with a message of love through youtube videos and facebook posts, and so there was already some awareness and readiness for this encounter between peoples who are technically enemies.

The group of Iranians spoke to crowds of students who had gathered to the stall, and made many new friends. There was laughter, respect, hugging and appreciation of one another. The Iranians were also able to share something of the love of Yeshua the Messiah that had brought them to Israel.

The University itself was also pleased with the event; “I am pleased that the projects of the University are helping to bring together people, who knows, maybe even bring peace. These are the kinds of things that Haifa University is proud to take part in,” said Vice President for External Relations and Resource Development.[1]

Later in the trip, the group went to the Shavuot gathering of all the Messianic congregations in the land of Israel. They shared some testimonies and sang some Persian songs, while Israeli believers leapt up to do some traditional Jewish dancing to the music. The Iranians declared “Shalom in the Name of Yeshua!” over the people, and brought tears to the eyes of some Israelis, who are used to hearing a very different message from Iran. But here was a kingdom moment of peace and love – the dividing wall of hostility is broken down in the name of Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah who has also come to save every nation.

“This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God,” urged Peter, in Acts 2:39 (NLT), seeing that salvation was from the Jews but was to go to the ends of the earth. But even more exciting, God still has plans to bring the Jewish people into salvation in the Messiah, and will use Gentiles to bring that message of mercy! As Paul writes in Romans 11:30-31 (NLT):

“Once, you Gentiles were rebels against God, but when the people of Israel rebelled against him, God was merciful to you instead. Now they are the rebels, and God’s mercy has come to you so that they, too, will share in God’s mercy.”

Praise God for these valiant vessels bringing God’s mercy back to Israel, through a most unexpected route! Praise Yeshua, the only one who can bring true peace, reconciliation and salvation to all the peoples.

[1] University of Haifa website news [Hebrew] http://wordpress.haifa.ac.il/?p=4036

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