This article about Casimir Lanowick was submitted by Elva Lanowick, along with this note:
Thought you might like to see this copy of an account about Casimir’s work that I have submitted to Alisa Klausner Ber at her request. She is planning to write about Christian workers for Israel and wants to include information about Casimir.
Alisa is related to the late Dr. Joseph Klausner, well–known author in Israel who wrote, among other things, a book about Jesus. Possibly as a result of this, Alisa told us many years ago that she has always had a special interest In Christians who love Israel. She is a member of the Israel Interfaith Committee.
Alisa comes from pioneer stock in Israel and has known well, from her childhood, most of the early leaders of the Jewish State – David Ben Gurion, etc. She is married to Baruch Ber who has also been active in politics In Israel and on the editorial staff of the fine newspaper called HA’ARETZ.
Some of my friends remember her well as the dynamic personality who spoke to any number of our Israel tour groups. She told us back in 1955 that she considers Christians who work for Israel as “the saints of all the world,” as the Psalmist put it.
(By Elva Lanowick)
THE WORK OF CASIMIR LANOWICK – 1917 – 1980
Both Casimir and I were raised by Protestant Christian parents who had firm convictions regarding the ultimate rebirth of the Jewish nation as promised by the Hebrew prophets – a restoration that would have profound impacts not only for the Jewish people but also for the blessing of all mankind.
Before we knew each other, separately we read an excellent small book entitled ZIONISM IN PROPHECY, by Professor Franklyn Hudgings, published in 1936 by the Pro–Palestine Federation of America. Casimir was so impressed by this well–documented treatise that, typical of his special character trait of taking action upon his beliefs, at the young age of 19 he purchased and personally circulated many copies of ZIONISM IN PROPHECY which, incidentally, though written by a Christian scholar, carries the endorsement of Dr. Hirsch Loeb Gorton and was reviewed favorably by any number of leading U.S. Zionists of that era.
So it was only natural that when the United Nations voted in 1947 in favor of a Jewish state, Casimir was deeply moved by this development. That same year he commenced publishing, with my help, a magazine to report news about the prospect of Israel’s reconstitution as a nation, in a passionate endeavor to arouse the Christians of America as to the tremendous significance of the imminent rebirth of Israel. This news digest was entitled THE JEWS IN THE NEWS and later changed to ISRAEL’S RESTORATION NEWS.
Of course, when the dramatic date of May 14, 1948 saw the creation of the official state of Eretz Israel, our excitement grew more intense and we could never find enough space in the columns of our monthly publication to include all the truly meaningful reportage of events in that fledgling nation. Frequent reference was made to the very pertinent prophetic Scriptures which had so graphically foretold, some 2500 years previously, and even earlier, the details of this historic rebirth of the ancient nation of Israel. But it was a down-to-earth magazine, reporting on all aspects of life in the new state, whether related to agricultural revival, military achievements, the ingathering of the exiles, etc., so that the readers could hardly gainsay the depth of meaning of it all.
This endeavor to awaken Christians in the U.S. as to the great significance of Israel met, in those early years, with much skepticism among most Christians, and even Jews, who could not conceive that the tiny new nation could survive the tremendous pressures exerted against it by powerful and rich Arab enemies. It was our aim to be one of the voices of assurance.
Subscriptions to our news organ began to come in to our office in Redwood City, California, from all the then 48 states and even from many foreign countries, i.e. Canada, England, East and West Germany, France, Hungary, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Denmark and others. Because Israel was not a popular subject among the average Christians in those years, we never felt that our publication had the scope of readership it deserved. Yet there was a corps of regular readers, including many influential Christians of all denominations, who were eager to be kept informed regarding the progress in the Jewish State, and in looking back later we realized that our trail-blazing efforts were a considerable factor in bringing about the groundswell of Christian support for Israel that began in the 1970’s.
Even as Theodor Herzl paradoxically met strongest opposition from among the rabbinical leaders of his time, so we found that ministers in the United States were least likely to respond to the message of Israel restored. However, in almost every church were the one’s and two’s whose parents and grandparents had told them that when the Jews would go back to their homeland, it would usher in the Messianic era of peace and righteousness for all mankind. These individuals often became firebrands of zeal concerning the historic significance of modern Israel. We derived much encouragement from these ardent readers, counteracting the general apathy and often open hostility of many of our peers. It is no surprise to the initiated that even anti-Semitism bared its well-entrenched fangs. Under the circumstances, you can understand that financial pressures were always a fact of life for us.
The Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem requested, from time to time, that we make sure that a copy of each issue of THE JEWS IN THE NEWS (later ISRAEL’S RESTORATION NEWS) be sent to them, so if you wish, Alisa, you could examine these in their files to get an idea of the nature of our monthly Israel news digest.
In 1950 Casimir and I made our first trip to Israel, equipped with the latest and finest cameras. Between November of that year and March of 1951 we visited almost every important settlement, site, city and village, including Eilat when the only structure there was an army barracks. (We took panoramic motion pictures here and footage all over the country – of immigrants arriving by the thousands at the port of Haifa, of the maabarot camps, youth aliya villages, etc.) As you can imagine, this opportunity to go to Israel during those momentous times of its national beginnings, the days of tzena, the days of euphoria amidst harsh hardship, was a highlight in our lives. We also had the joy of becoming acquainted with many Israeli of diverse backgrounds – pioneers, refugees from the Nazi holocaust, Yemeni recent arrivals on the “Magic Carpet” looking for all the world like they had stepped right out of the pages of the Bible, etc. These early contacts would always be precious to us, even though we returned to Israel many times afterward.
On our way back to America via Europe, Casimir was asked to lecture in Italy, Germany and England regarding his findings in the new Jewish State. We also made a special trip to Basel, Switzerland so as to see the hall in which Theodor Herzl held the First Zionist Congress in 1897 (has since been torn down).
Our illustrated lecture activities began in earnest in the U.S. in July of 1951 when we commenced what would eventually be about ten years of cross–country engagements – six months of each year presenting the story of Israel by word and film, and then often but irregularly through the years right up until his death. Eventually our lecture work expanded into Canada, England and Wales, and especially to Australia and New Zealand where, in 1960, we were able to carry on an indepth coverage of these two down–under lands with our Israel presentation, over a six–month period. Our audiences in this part of the world included many Jewish people.
The films we had taken in Israel, with the aim of more effectively portraying the historic dimensions of the rise of Israel, received fine reviews, but even more important was the exceptional ability Casimir had as a dedicated and dynamic speaker, consistently able to inspire his audiences. His warmth, his vast store of knowledge about modern Israel, the judicious use of the Biblical tie-up, always elicited genuinely enthusiastic response. Casimir’s keen sense of humor spiced his otherwise serious but not pontifical delivery. He liked to use the term “educationally entertaining” in publicizing his illustrated lectures.
These film programs were presented in churches of almost every denomination, for service organizations such as Rotary, Lion’s Club, etc., and we were also sponsored at times by the Zionist Organization of America, Hadassah, and even individual lovers of Israel. Then, too, quite frequently we personally engaged auditoriums, placed newspaper advertising and thus sponsored some of our own very successful meetings. We carried along a very interesting display of Israel products and included Israeli folksongs with each program.
Eventually we came to the realization that an even better way to introduce the magic of Israel to the general public would be to escort them to Israel to see for themselves the marvelous achievements of the sons of Jacob restored to their land. Through our magazine readership and our lecture contacts we organized our first group tour in 1955. (This was when we had the privilege of meeting you, Alisa.) We spent a full 35 days in Eretz Israel that spring, determined to give our Christian friends as thorough an overview of Israel as possible under the circumstances.
As you know, after that we took many tour groups to Israel. We were mindful of the deficiencies of the average Christian “Holy Land” tours – the bypassing of much of the miracle of modern Israel in favor of mostly churches and other so–called “holy places.” Casimir also steadfastly refused to take short tours to Israel, even though we realized that we could have attracted many more tour members by offering cut–rate 7 or 10–day tours or by including Arab countries, European stopovers, etc. The testimonials we accumulated after the tours ended convinced us that our traveling companions were indeed returning home well–informed, deeply impressed and ready to become eager supporters of Israel’s goals and political stance. You are aware, too, that we also put much stress on the importance of introducing our touring friends to the people of the Land – Israeli from all walks of life, Jewish, Arab and Christian, so that they could catch the unusual spirit of the country, ask questions, etc.
By the way, in 1958 and 1959 we took time off to experience living in Israel, renting a lovely home in Talpioth, then a quiet suburb of Jerusalem, continuing to publish our Israel magazine wherever we went (until about 1968); we welcomed this opportunity to get even better acquainted with the Land and with the Israeli. Again new and lasting friendships were forged and our work for Israel took on an added important dimension.
Frequently from the years 1953 to 1979 we also arranged for any number of Israel seminars – both national and regional, at such scenic spots as the Grand Tetons, beautiful Asilomar by the Sea, Rocky Mountain National Park, etc., bringing in Israeli speakers and Christian leaders well versed as to Israel’s modern history in the light of the Bible. We enjoyed our relationship with the late Dr. G. Douglas Young because of his unflagging zeal for Israel and I recall with joy the worthy contribution he made to our 1979 Israel Seminar. Soon after that, in May of 1980, he died, and Casimir passed away only about five months later.
It was about the time that Israel became a state that we heard Dr. and Mrs. Walter Clay Lowdermilk speak at a large Zionist rally in San Francisco, renewing our admiration for their selfless devotion to the concept of a Jewish State, dating back to 1939. Our first tour group had the privilege of being entertained by the Lowdermilks in their fine house atop Mount Carmel in 1955. I mention this to lead up to the fact that when Dr. Lowdermilk died Casimir was moved to do something to commemorate the valuable work Dr. Lowdermilk had done for Israel – devising the national water plan, helping advance Israel’s agriculture in the. early years of statehood, establishing the Lowdermilk School of Agricultural Engineering at the Technion in Haifa, using his high station in the U.S. Government to influence administration policy, etc. (As you know, Mrs. Lowdermilk herself had spoken tirelessly on behalf of Israel while they were stationed in Washington, D.C. and after their return to Berkeley, California, where Dr. Lowdermilk taught at the University of California. Even to this date, at the advanced age of 92, Inez Lowdermilk retains a strong and active commitment to Israel.)
Casimir felt that the most appropriate memorial to Walter Clay Lowdermilk would be a forest planted in his honor in Israel. Always impressed by the work of Keren Kayemeth in planting trees, restoring the land, etc., Casimir proposed to the San Francisco chapter of the Jewish National Fund that such a forest project be commenced. With the help of the California Christian Committee for Israel, the fund–raising got under way. Casimir and I had the privilege of doing most of the work on this project, and after much persistence the full sum of $10,000 was raised, plus further amounts for a recreation area within the forest at Mrs. Lowdermilk’s request.
So, in March of 1976, Mrs. Lowdermilk was the guest of honor on one of our Israel tours organized specifically to include the dedication of the Lowdermilk Memorial Forest on Mt. Turan in the Galilee. How encouraged Casimir was when Golda Meir accepted his invitation to meet Mrs. Lowdermilk at the airport and join our tour group for dinner at the Sharon Hotel in Herzlia. It meant so much to Casimir to do something meaningful, to give recognition and encouragement to this valiant Christian woman and to honor the memory of her truly great husband. Needless to say, the hours spent with “Golda” were precious.
Not long after this project was finished we were asked by some Christian lovers of Zion in the U.S. to organize the “Christian-Israel Friendship League.” So this was done in 1978, but within two years Casimir had died and the loss of his unique leadership meant that the work of this league diminished considerably.
However, Casimir lived to see a new page in the history of Christian Zionism – the emergence of grass-roots groups of Christian supporters of Israel all around the United States, and, in fact, all around the world. You cannot imagine how excited Casimir was about this development and how enthusiastically he planned to cooperate with them in their worthy endeavors. For instance, Casimir was the U.S. National Coordinator for the First International Congress for the Peace of Jerusalem held in Israel’s capital city in 1978, at which time about 1,000 Christians from many countries gathered to express support for Israel. The next year, when the idea of a Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem was proposed, Casimir got busy and wrote the organizers expressing his delight and started working to organize a tour to take in this first “Feast of Tabernacles” Christian gathering.
But it was not to be. In retrospect, I am convinced that Casimir’s work was done and the torch was being passed on to other zealous Christian lovers of Israel. You no doubt know about the 4,000, 5,000, and then 6,000 Christians from as many as 40 countries who have participated in the subsequent annual Feast of Tabernacles assemblies in Jerusalem. Casimir never considered himself indispensable, and how happy he would be today to see the ever–increasing numbers of Christians who are espousing the cause of Eretz Israel, the nation of destiny. (Elva)
P.S.. Are you familiar, Alisa, with the Christian–Zionist work of the late Charles Taze Russell between the years of about 1881–1916? He wrote and lectured extensively about the hopes of Israel restored, based on the Biblical record. His weekly articles were carried in hundreds of newspapers around the United States, so whenever he wrote about the Jews returning to “Palestine,” his firm convictions received wide coverage. He also addressed large Jewish audiences in the U.S. at the Hippodrome, in London, and around Western and Eastern Europe. He was aroused by the pogroms at Kishenev and elsewhere in Russia. It is touching to note how eagerly “Pastor” Russell reported the smallest developments in Palestine when the first aliya was taking place. A former student at the Hebrew University told us back in 1950 that when they studied Christian Zionism at this university, Charles Taze Russell was at the top of the list.
(Written by Mrs. Casimir Lanowick, November 1985)
Many Bible Students don’t think Emek ha Shalom is doing the Lord’s work by working for Israel, as they say His work now is “gathering the Saints.” But Casimir and Elva inspired many nominal Christians to help Israel financially and otherwise.
QUOTES RE NATURAL ISRAEL
“Now we are entering the great Time of Trouble which is to inaugurate Messiah’s Kingdom. During this trouble the Church is to be glorified in the First Resurrection. Then the thousand years of Messiah’s reign with the elect, Spiritual Bride, drawn from both Jews and Gentiles, will begin.
“Still God’s favor will pursue the natural seed of Abraham. Their lessons and chastisements will fit and prepare them more quickly than others of the world to receive the Messianic blessing. The earthly phase of Messiah’s Kingdom will be Israelitish, in that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets and saintly ones down to John the Baptist are to be made ‘princes in all the earth’ (Psa. 45:16) – the earthly representatives in human perfection of the Spiritual Kingdom of Messiah.
“Naturally enough, Israel will then in a natural way come first into harmony with the Divine arrangement and be the first to get the blessing. However, during the thousand years of the Kingdom, as the Scriptures declare, all nations shall bless themselves in becoming Abraham’s seed – in coming into relationship with the Kingdom, which will have an Israelitish basis. (Jer. 4:2; Isa. 65:16; Gen. 12:3) Eventually, all will be destroyed who do not thus become true Israelites. Thus Abraham’s seed will eventually include all the families of the earth – all for whom God has provided life eternal. As for Gentiles – strangers from God – none will remain.”
(By That Servant, Reprints 5809 bottom, 5810 top, December 1, 1915)
THOSE CONSECRATING BETWEEN THE AGES
“It is our thought that with the closing of the door of this Gospel Age there will be no more begetting of the Holy Spirit to the spirit nature. Any afterward coming to God thru consecration, before the inauguration of the restitution work, will be accepted by Him, not to the spirit plane of being, but to the earthly plane. Such would come in under the same conditions as the Ancient Worthies who were accepted of God. The Ancient Worthies came in, no call being opened to them – the High Calling not yet being opened, and the restitution opportunities not open. But they freely gave themselves up to God without knowing what blessings their consecration would bring, except that they had the intimation that they would, in the future life, have a ‘better resurrection’ than would the remainder of the world.
“Our thought is that whoever under such conditions as these will make a full consecration to the Lord, to leave all to follow in His ways, and will live up faithfully, loyally, to that consecration, may be privileged to be counted as a similar class to those who preceded this Gospel Age. We know of no reason why the Lord would refuse to receive those who make a consecration after the close of the Gospel Age High Calling and before the full opening of the Millennium.” (By That Servant, Reprint 5761, September 1, 1915)
JESUS OF NAZARETH – THE ETERNAL GLORY OF THE JEWISH RACE
Perhaps, too, in this enlightened age, as his mind expands, and he takes a comprehensive view of this period of progress, the pupil of Moses may ask himself whether all the princes of the house of David have done so much for the Jews as that prince who was crucified on Calvary. Had it not been for Him, the Jews would have been comparatively unknown, or known only as a high Oriental caste which had lost its country. Has not He made their history the most famous in the world? Has not He hung up their laws in every temple? Has He not vindicated all their wrongs? Has not He avenged the victory of Titus and conquered the Caesars? What success did they anticipate from their Messiah? The wildest dreams of their Rabbis have been far exceeded. Has not Jesus conquered Europe and changed its name into Christendom?
The whole of the new world is devoted to the Semitic principle and its most glorious offspring, the Jewish faith, and the time will come when the vast communities and countless myriads of America and Australia, looking upon Greece, and wondering how so small a space could have achieved such great deeds, will still find music in the songs of Zion and still seek solace in the parables of Galilee.
These may be dreams, but there is one fact which none can contest. Christians may continue to persecute Jews, and Jews may persist in disbelieving Christians, but who can deny that Jesus of Nazareth, the Incarnate Son of the Most High God, is the eternal glory of the Jewish race?
(Statement by–Benjamin Disraeli from The Messiahship of Jesus, page 268)
CHRONICLE OF THE GREAT WASTE OF THE GREAT WAR
All across Europe, they marched and rode off to war in the summer of 1914, naively expecting to be home before the leaves fell.
Splendidly attired in uniforms suggestive of Napoleon’s time, they were a tragically innocent generation, with no way to foresee the coming four-year engagement that precipitated the rise of Hitler.
The war to end all wars didn’t. In fact, it was just the start. Leftover tensions led to slaughter of a far greater magnitude 25 years later, and – the case can be made – to Cold War fear of communist aggression, the nuclear arms race and the global instability that persists in the final year of the century.
John Keegan’s study of the Great War makes clear how it all might have been avoided. He writes eloquently with mastery of military history and scholarship that never loses touch with humanity and never gets bogged down in moralizing.
What Keegan accomplishes, through judiciously applied hindsight, is to make us aware of the role of chance in the events of the 20th century. With just a modicum of communication among European leaders, the blood–letting needn’t have happened. History amounts to a game of “what-if?” whose outcome could have been utterly different.
More than a month elapsed between the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and the actual clash of armies. There was ample time, even with the rather primitive communications technology of the day, to avert the awful four years that followed.
Statesmen seemed oblivious to the uses of the telephone, preferring instead to rely on hand–written notes and telegraphed messages. The result, in Keegan’s words: “a dead march and a dialogue of the deaf.” causing the destruction of the continent.
Even more disconcerting, Keegan also shows how the course of the war was largely determined in advance by a German war planner’s scheme that had little chance of succeeding.
The so–called Schlieffen plan, concocted by the chief of the Great German General Staff, was devised and refined over more than 20 years, beginning in the 1890s. Its thrust was simple: to enable Germany to quickly overwhelm France in the West, then turn its attention to Russia in the East, thus avoiding a protracted, two–front war, for which Germany lacked the resources.
It called for a massive, exquisitely timed wheeling movement of German forces through the Low Countries, to envelop the French from the right. It demanded precision in the transport of troops via rail, and made little allowance for any delays.
“It was to prove the most important official document of the last hundred years,” Keegan writes, “for what it caused to ensue on the field of battle, the hopes it inspired, the hopes it dashed, were to have consequences that persist to this day.”
The inevitable failure of the German game plan provoked the stalemate known as trench warfare and the ensuing carnage in the hellish, barbed-wire strewn No Man’s Land between the ditches.
Millions died in the senseless and unproductive exchange of heavy artillery, machinegun fire and troops advancing on foot in the battles like Verdun and the Meuse and the Somme.
The numbers are staggering. The French lost 2 million soldiers and had 5 million wounded, including thousands so badly disfigured they were sent to rural villages to endure the rest of their days in privacy. The Germans also lost 2 million fighting men. The wounded included 1,264 who lost both legs.
The body counts were equally destructive for the Russians, Austrians, English, Italians and all the rest, up to and including the late-arriving Yanks.
But the country with the greatest percentage of casualties was Serbia, where 15 percent of the population died.
If only, if only. From Keegan’s perspective, none of it should have happened. Nearly a century has passed, yet the Great War still has aspects of profound mystery. Why, he asks, did a continent at the height of intellectual and cultural achievement choose to risk all in existentially pointless slaughter?
Those who returned home after the Armistice of November 1918 were profoundly changed by what Keegan calls the “ultimate mystery of the First World War.”
They had formed intimate bonds of friendship and mutual dependency unimaginable in peace, Keegan observes. To understand this process, he writes, is to understand “the mystery of human life.”
(The First World War, by John Keegan, reviewed by Chris Cobbs, The Orlando Sentinel, August 29, 1999)
IN ANSWER TO “THE GREAT WAR OF 1914”
Indeed it was a “Great War of 1914,” the greatest calamity to happen to the human race up to that time. Not every country took part in the battles, but every country in the world was involved and felt the consequences. We publish John Keegan’s reflection because it is interesting and informative to the younger generation who know very little, if anything, about its horrors. We agree with John Keegan that it is a “mystery” to all who are not acquainted with God’s Word regarding wars and other calamities that have occurred to mankind.
The end of the 1914 War brought the Great Depression, which, like the war, affected all nations. Many good workmen could not find jobs so could not care for their families and keep them from starving.
None of these events were by chance as suggested. They were providential happenings and could not have been prevented by any man. Dan. 4:17 says: “...to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” Some of the basest of men, Pharaoh, Napoleon, Hitler, et al, were used of God to further His Plan. They were not men of God, but were men of destiny. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.” (Psa. 76:10) However, we have had good and honorable rulers at times – in our country as well as in some of the foreign countries.
God permitted the Gentiles to rule in the world for a specific time and when their times ended the Great War of 1914 marked the end of the Gentile Times. The Gentile nations are still here, but God has rejected them and He is now in the process of ejecting them. The Lord’s Great Army is the masses of restless people (Joel 2:11). They are demanding more than they are getting, so they are protesting by marching on their governments.
The United States is the last great nation. Its economic condition is good, better than other countries. It is trying to make all governments Democratic, which is the best government for humanity in its fallen and imperfect condition. But it cannot succeed, for it cannot maintain its good economic condition – not with all the disasters which are costing more money than it has. Not only that, crime, drugs and health concerns are taking more money than it can afford. But if it cannot take care of the people, their voices will get louder and louder, and the marching on Washington will be increased greatly.
Although the U.S. has never sought to conquer territorial possessions, it now seems to think that it has the right and power to dictate to all countries. This is most notable in regard to Israel, and this meddling seems to be for the purpose of destroying that nation. But God will prevail. He says in Jer. 30:11: “...though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” This is repeated in Jer. 46:28.
Why will He not make a full end of the Israelite nation, even though they have been just as sinful as the others? For their Fathers sake – Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He made promises that He will not break. Also, the Lord knew what He was doing when He called them His “Chosen People.” The Messiah came from the Jewish nation. “Salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22) The Kingdom will be Israelitish with Jerusalem as the capital of the world.
“And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths:’ for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Isa. 2:3) The law will be administered from the heavenly Kingdom and handed down to the earthly Kingdom. The earthly Kingdom will be in the hands of the Ancient and Youthful Worthies. They will be “Princes in all the earth.” (Psa. 45:16) In other words the Worthies will be the visible rulers in the Kingdom.
Israel, “Arise, shine; for thy light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” (Isa. 60:1) “And the Gentiles shall come to thy light.” (Isa. 60:3)
“I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (Isa. 1:26)
“0 Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee... thou art mine.” (Isa. 43:1) “I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will REJOICE in Jerusalem, in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.” (Isa. 65:18,19)
“I will overturn, overturn; overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he comes whose right it is; and I will give it him. I will judge thee in the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy nativity.” (Ezek. 21:27,30)
“I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zech. 12:10)
LET US STAND IN THE GAP IN PRAYER
Has anything really changed in the Moslem Middle East? On September 5, 1999, the Islamic fundamentalist group, Hamas, attempted two simultaneous car bombs – one in Tiberias and one in Haifa. Miraculously, both bombs exploded prematurely, only killing the terrorists. This was in response to the new treaty between Barak and Arafat signed the night before.
While we need to strive to make peace and seek to live at peace with our neighbors in the Middle East, we also need to know the difference between true peace and a peace that is but a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. Jesus told us that we are often found as “sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” (Matt. 10:16) When the world “says peace, peace, when there is no peace” (Jer. 6:14), then we need to beware and pray the prayer that Jesus taught us, “...deliver us from evil.” (Matt. 6:13) We need to pray for God’s peace, not the world’s peace, for our Jewish and Christians brothers in these trying times.
We need to pray for the Jewish residents of Hebron, who still live with constant threat of terror attacks. Pray for their safety and pray that the tragic events of 1929 will never be repeated.
We need to intercede for Israel and the Christians of the Middle East, that we would be delivered from the curses and attacks that are leveled against us. Pray that the nations of this world will hear and understand the meaning of the evil being taught by Islamic religious leaders, as they spew their hatred against Christians and Jews, and not be fooled. Pray that the world’s desire for real peace will not be confused with a “false peace,” giving into the demands of those Moslem leaders whose aim is to destroy or conquer non–Moslems. There are few Moslem leaders who are like Anwar Sadat and King Hussein of Jordan. We must find them and work with them and resist the tactics of the others.
Finally, we need to pray that the Lord God of Israel, the God of the Universe, would reveal Himself to the Moslem nations. Only as they turn to Him will there be real peace in the Middle East, peace for the Christians of the Middle East, and peace for the people and land of Israel. (See Psalm 34:15–17; 91:15; 122:6)
(By Clarence H. Wagner, Jr, Editor of Bridges For Peace, September/October 1999)