A Very Solemn Mall Experience

By:  Judy Liegmann –

A tall, middle-aged man came by our Eastridge Mall tract table last Saturday.

He scanned the materials on the table, then handed me back the tract I had just given him.  He said in markedly accented English, “I’m Jewish. I’m from Israel.  I don’t believe this. I don’t believe in God.” His manner was flippant and a bit scornful.  He began to walk away.  I felt a strong urging from the Lord to engage him in conversation.

I said, “Do you know why I am really grateful to your people?”  The man stopped and looked around.  I walked up to him and looked intently into his eyes.  I said, “This is why.   Your people have taken it on the chin for thousands of years because God gave them the assignment to guard the Holy Scriptures and keep them untainted until I could read them and find out that my Creator knew and loved me. If it weren’t for the Jews, I would have no clue that the Lord of Heaven and earth opened His arms wider to include me in His love — someone not even born a Jew!”

The man became increasingly pensive. I was encouraged.

I continued, “So please allow me to say to you, Sir, as a representative of your people, ‘Thank you!’

The man seemed a bit moved, and his face softened noticeably. He said, “I appreciate that.”

I said, “Do you realize what the Hebrew people mean to God?  Look what He’s done for you!  He saved your people miraculously from the likes of Pharaoh and Haman and Antiochus and Hitler.  And somewhere there is a new Abomination awaiting his opportunity to destroy Israel.  But the Prophet Ezekiel and others assure us that the Lord of Israel will not allow His people to be wiped out.   And you can bet He’ll keep His promise!”

The man looked quite astounded.  He said, “Most Christians do not know these things.”  I said sadly, “I know they don’t.  And God will call us to account for being so ignorant of His Word.”  I could tell the Lord had piqued the man’s interest. He seemed fascinated by what he was hearing about the God he’d said he didn’t believe in.

I said, “The Book of Romans tells me that the only true Olive Tree is Israel. God allowed me in His mercy to be grafted into this tree, so that can I have a part in the salvation promised to Israel.   I am an adopted Israelite, an adopted Jew.”

The man’s eyes got wide, and he looked at me with absolute wonderment!

It was as if the Lord were saying to me, “Go for it! Who else will tell him the “Rest of the Gospel Story?”

I said, ” I learned from the Jewish scriptures that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob carried the blessing of Israel through Moses and David and the prophets, all the way to my Jewish Messiah.  I was a wrecked person.  I knew my life was full of all kinds of things I wasn’t proud of. I had lied to get my way, deceived people who loved me and had even stolen from them. I’d had malicious, hateful thoughts about others; I had used a lot of rotten language, and thought all kinds of unhealthy thoughts.   Who was going to pull me out of hell for that?  Could anybody else solve that problem for me? No! You need a perfect sacrifice for that.”  The man’s eyes showed me he knew exactly what I was talking about. I continued, “Jesus the Messiah came from Heaven as the only one qualified to take the garbage of my life upon Himself and pay my fine before the Heavenly judge.  He kept that Torah, the Law of God perfectly, for me, and then He paid the ultimate price for my life with His.”

The man suddenly shook himself out of the bubble of fascination the Lord had covered him with.  His cynical smile returned, but there was a tinge of sadness in it.   He said “You believe that.  I don’t believe that.”  I said, “I know, and it breaks my heart for you because my Bible tells me that it was Israel’s unbelief that opened up that olive tree for me.  I belong to the redeemed of Israel, and I want you to, also.  Won’t you take this tract and at least read it?”

The man turned to walk away, and with that strangely sad smile he said, “No, I won’t.”  I think he sensed my grief and knew it was real.  I called after him, “Bless you, Sir, and thank you for who you are.”  He looked around once more and politely said, “Thank you.”  Then he was gone.

Oh, Lord, please call to remembrance in this Jewish man’s mind the Gospel he heard on Saturday and lift that veil of blindness from his spirit that he might be touched by your Holy Spirit.