Finished another one! And there were a couple places in this book that touched me, and I'd like to touch on them here...
That said, moving on...
In this book, Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah becomes another key character in the storyline. Previously, he had done a 3-year study of the Scriptures to find out about Messiah, whether he had already come or whether they were still waiting for him. Long story short, he proclaimed Jesus to be Messiah on CNN, which greatly angered the zealous Jews. And so in this story, his wife and two children were brutally murdered by zealots.
The part that gets to me is this: after his family was killed, he was whisked away by his driver and sent into hiding. Buck goes to Israel to find him and eventually rescue him. When Buck gets to Tsion, he finds him in a sort of cave, sitting with his knees up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, rocking and crying, mourning for his family.
Let's stop here. Could you imagine this? A Jewish rabbi who proclaims Jesus as Messiah. Quick lesson here, for those who aren't as knowledgeable of religions: Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament. And so for a rabbi (teacher/scholar) to proclaim Jesus as Messiah, it was considered a great heresy. And zealots would take action, such as killing the rabbi and his family.
Luckily for Tsion, he was not at home when the zealots came calling. But imagine his grief. Because he has found the Truth in Christ, his family had to be the one to pay the ultimate price. But get this: when Buck reached him, the first thing he says to him is this: "Tsion, God loves you. What do you know for sure?"
Tsion answers, "I know that my Redeemer lives." What faith this rabbi has!!! I am almost in tears even as I write this, picturing this scene. He has lost his family, and he still clings to God in his incredible grief.
A few minutes later in the same scene, Tsion had asked Buck if he had brought a Bible. Buck did not, but he did have his computer, with which he was able to pull up any Scripture Tsion would want to see. When Buck asked him what he wanted to see, Tsion was unable to speak, again overcome by grief. He collapses in Buck's lap, and repeats, "The joy of the Lord is my strength," over and over.
The joy of the Lord is Tsion's strength. In a time of such immense mourning, he still found that the joy of the Lord was his strength. Do we do that? When things in life go wrong, do we rely on the joy of the Lord as our strength? I'm learning, but in the past I have often fell into depression and anger.
The book text reads as follows: "'Joy,' Buck thought. 'What a concept in this place, at this time.' The name of the game now was survival. Certainly joy took on a different meaning than ever before in Buck's life. He used to equate joy with happiness. Clearly Tsion Ben-Judah was not implying that he was happy. He might never be happy again. This joy was a deep abiding peace, an assurance that God was sovereign. They didn't have to like what was happening. They merely had to trust that God knew what he was doing."
Pretty self-explanatory there. I feel like it captures it better than I ever could.
Another part that caught my mind while reading this was a simple line, and I don't want to expand on it, I just want to end my post with it =)
Yahweh is the God of the impossible.