Shalom dear friends:
“So put aside every trace of malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander and hateful speech.”1 Peter 2:1
I am sorry to begin in sadness, but Israel is where I live. Thank you for sharing my thoughts, dear caring friends.
Thursday night on Dizengoff street in Tel Aviv two childhood friends Tomar Morad and Eytam Magini were shot in cold blood, 16 bystanders were wounded and hours later Barak Lufan, 35, succumbed to his wounds from the shooting. The country is sobered by all of these attacks, including the 13 deaths last week.
Israel is a family, nothing is impersonal here, nothing! When under attack that sense of brotherhood is undeniable. All grieve and pray. Tomar and Eytam had arrived only moments earlier to celebrate Eytam’s recent engagement. Barak, the third victim, was an Olympian athlete in the 2009 Olympics. The Palestinian from Jenin, Ra’ad Hazem, opened fire, spraying bullets far and wide. He escaped to a mosque in Jaffa and nine hours later was tracked down and died in a shootout.
Captured by Religion:
- What kind of religion do you practice?
- Do you embrace the teaching of the ‘brotherhood of man’ or are you separate?
- Does your devotion make you part of an exclusive group, just a step or two or twenty above the madding crowd, most of whom to you are unbelievers?
- What are your customs when it comes to pleasing the god you worship?
- What does ‘devotion’ to this god require of you?
- What has this faith cost your leaders, heroes, prophets and your god?
- What is the fruit of their legacy?
Sadly, there are those among us on this earth, who are convinced their god requires the mutilation of their fellow man and themselves. They exist to murder any Jew. Israelis are the biggest target: to ram with a car, stab, or shoot. Their supreme sacrifice requires lots of blood. Often any human sacrifice will do. But it never satisfies their LUST for more blood. Their belief grants the reward of a brothel in “paradise complete with 72 dark-eyed virgins each” and banqueting tables filled with luscious foods.
“How ludicrous!” we respond. “How primitive!”
Yet in the leading nations of the world unborn babies are sacrificed to the same insatiable demon, whose LUST for human blood is never satisfied. What nation is not compliant? Thank goodness, Jesus declared, “My Kingdom is not of this world [nor does it have its origin in this world].” -John 18:36
I began my letter with 1 Peter 2:1 for a reason. Jerusalem was levelled by the Babylonians in 586 BC and by the Roman in 70 A.D. because of ‘lashon harah’ or evil speaking. According to the Rabbis, the wars began with gossip among the Jews themselves. We read about the controversies and accusations Jesus encountered with the authorities, which filtered down to the common crowd which called for His death. We read about the same spirit that eventually murdered Paul in Rome. The story grows. How many millions of Jews and Believers in Messiah Yeshua have been slaughtered down through the annals of history? It all began with ‘evil speaking – slander’ for want of a better definition. It is our biggest problem today I believe, among Jews and Palestinians.
My mother always said, “I love gossip! When I hear it, I squelch it right where I am. It will go no further!”
The Power of Gossip:
– Gossip and lies are bosom buddies.
– Gossip always begins with one voice before it is picked up and repeated.
– When you tear someone apart and come out looking good, it is worse, not better.
- People gossip for status. Knowledge is status. Sharing it improves one’s status.
- No matter what we say, the motivation for gossip is, almost always titillation and status arise, NOT JUSTICE.
- In a court of law, everyone is permitted his or her testimony and is HEARD.
– The death of one’s character begins with gossip.
The sacred NO! :
- Is it socially uncomfortable to back off and say, “I don’t wish to hear the latest.”
- IF you must complain about your family or friend, only do so with someone who loves them as you do. IF you love them, you will NOT threaten or harm them.
- Don’t gossip to someone who will remember and use the information against them or against you later.
- Guard your ears – this discipline is as sacred as guarding your tongue. There is often nobility in not listening.
- Words spoken or written can not be erased from memory. “Delete” is a fiction both online and in the world of discussion.
- Bad words stick, even if they are disproved later.
- Use your faculties of hearing and speech wisely. Especially in the days of this COVID pandemic. Of course, you have experienced how division confronts one on every level. All of mankind has been swept into a so-called ‘new reality’ that thrives on division. Beware!
“Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it and indulge in it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.”Proverbs. 18:21
“But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will have to give an accounting for every careless or useless word they speak.”Matthew 12:36
Friends, let us pray for one another and forgive one another quickly.
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, may they prosper who love her.”Psalm 122:6
The days of spring cleaning are upon us, is it just an analogy for the greater work needed in each of our lives?
Meridel Rawlings, Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097 Israel