Israel: A State of Mind
My friends, Elhanan and Julie Ben-Avraham had lived in Israel for many years, but returned to the States for medical reasons. When their Sabra (native born Israeli) daughter was having their first grandchild, they decided it was time to move back "home" to Israel. I emailed them and asked them, even though they had been back and forth a number of times, what it felt like to be back and how they saw life there as compared to the States. How different was it than what the American media presents which is the only insight many have as to life in Israel?
We here in the States only hear the News from the secular media perspective which is usually biased, some more so than others, or Israel is ignored altogether, even when there are significant things going on in the Land. You have to get it straight from Israel to know what's going on, and from the Believers (usually via websites or emails) to know what God is doing there. Stories abound of protection in the midst of crises or of supernatural provision among the Israelis, particularly the Believers, for which we give God praise.
The media is not likely to tell you what ordinary life is like for most Israelis. Ask yourself if what you picture of Israeli life is continual stress, fear and oppression, along with continued dangerous animosity from any Arabs there. Unless you're informed, you may have an unrealistic idea of what the average Israeli's life is like, be they Jewish or Arab, because of media input. To give you an example of media persuasion, I was in Israel during a time when there were fires in the Grand Canyon. The media from the States, which was aired in Israel, made it appear that the entire western portion of America was on fire. It seemed a terrifying catastrophe from there affecting millions of Americans, when in reality it was rather localized. I had to call home to find out.
Again, I was in Israel at an other time when in my home town of Philadelphia about a month earlier our mayor had ordered the bombing of 3 houses in which the cult group "Move" was holed up, armed and dangerous. I could hear the sounds of it from my own home a number of miles away. While it was designed to hit only the houses in which Move was located, it resulted in an entire block of houses catching fire in West Philadelphia. The media coverage of the event evidently reached Israel. Israelis who knew I was from Philadelphia asked me, "Aren't you afraid to live in Philadelphia where your mayor is blowing up your city?" With all I had been hearing about Israel and their own danger and bombings from the media, here they were asking me if I was afraid, as if I had more to worry about than they did.
The point of these stories is that you can't judge from secular media (and sometimes Christian) reports what's really going on, or at least the whole story. Life can go on normally when the media makes it sound like the ONLY thing going on is catastrophe and horror. But God is "gooder" than that. Keep in mind that the devil doesn't like Israel and he's not interested in anything "good" being promoted about Israel. The devil, being the author of lies, and seemingly the defacto editor-in-chief of the secular media, presents stories according to his own slant. Consider that his is the bad news, while God's news is always The Good News. Consider how little good news you actually hear from the media. On the whole it seems that generally the media reports on what satan is doing, and not what God is doing.
This is not to say there aren't difficult or threatening things going on in Israel, nor that there isn't a real hostility from her enemies. The threats are real, the stresses are significant and the need for prayer for Israel is urgent. But life does go on normally for many Israelis, even within the context of the war that never seems to stop. We need to keep in perspective that God is still protecting His people and that Israel is still the apple of His eye (Zech 2:8) and that His faithfulness to her is everlasting. (Ps. 106:1) He meets needs on a daily basis and holds her in His Hands. And most of all "The Lord has promised good things to Israel." (Nu 10:29) The media doesn't tell you that.
Along these lines, I thought you might like to hear what Elhanan had to say about life in the Land from his perspective as an Israeli citizen, having returned after a time of living in the States. Here's what he emailed to me about life in Israel today, now that they've returned for good.
Let me interrupt Elhanan for a moment to tell another story. I recall a a very touching story that Elhanan told me a number of years ago. He was walking through the Arab market in Jerusalem shopping when he got into a conversation with an Arab shopkeeper who shared his heart with Elhanan. That was in the days when the PLO was making most of the noise against Israel. "I want to raise my kids just like you do," he said. "I want no war. I was born and raised right here in Jerusalem. I have no battle with Israel. But if I don't go along with the PLO, they will burn my shop down." That heart-breaking story must continue to be the plight of many precious Arab people, especially those who are Believers in Jesus, who also have been misrepresented by the media as being Israel-haters. Now back to what Elhanan was saying:
Lonnie Lane comes from a family of four generations of Jewish believers, being the first one saved in 1975. Lonnie has been in church leadership for many years, and has planted two “one new man” house fellowships, one in Philadelphia suburbs and the other in Jacksonville, Florida, where she now lives near 6 of her 8 grandchildren. Lonnie is the author of “Because They Never Asked” and numerous articles on this website. She has been the Producer of Messianic Vision's radio and TV shows and the International Prayer Co-Coordinator for Messianic Vision's intercessors. Click Here to order Lonnie's book, "Because They Never Asked."
Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version?. NIV?. Copyright ? 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.