Born twice in Jerusalem

viaadmin Volume 39

I was born in Israel in the city of Jerusalem and brought up, like the rest of my family and race, to love and honour God, to keep the Sabbath, the law and its traditions. As I grew up in a Jewish environment, I had a love for my country and my people.

My parents wanted me to learn English, so after I finished primary school they suggested that I should go to the English Mission School. I hated the name of Jesus and did not want to learn about Him, but in obedience to my parents, I went. Our primary teacher had warned us, “If you ever come across a book called the New Testament, avoid reading it; but in any case if you do read it, destroy the book as soon as you have finished with it.” I intended to shut my ears to its teachings and the name of Jesus.

We had prayers every morning and lessons from the New Testament. For a whole year I fought against the truth, until one day the story of one of the miracles that Jesus did gripped my mind, and I could not forget it. There was a battle going on within me. Should I believe it, or not? If I did accept it then I had to admit that whatever Jesus claimed to be must be true of Him. In utter despair I cried, “O God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, if Jesus is truly the Messiah, please reveal Him to me.” God heard and answered my prayer. I proved His promise in Jeremiah 29:13: “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

From that day, my hunger and desire to know God seemed to be satisfied by reading the Word of God, in the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Even then, a shudder would go through me when “Jesus the Son of God” or “Jesus the Messiah” was mentioned, but His person and character became the centre of my interest and attraction. The more I read about Him the more I loved Him. The Bible became a living book. The Old Testament, which at one time was merely beautiful history to me, became an inexhaustible well of discovery. In its pages I saw that the despised Jesus is the fulfillment of prophecy. His existence, birth, life, death and resurrection were all foretold.

In Isaiah 53:5-6 we read, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray…and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

What a day that will be when the prophecy of Zechariah 12:10 is fulfilled and they look on Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him. I knew that this Jesus is the Messiah Israel is waiting for, and He is the Saviour of the world.

I realized that if I was to obey and follow the Lord Jesus, it would be at great cost and so I decided like many have done, to forget it all and just bury all the truths within me. But I had no peace or rest, darkness overshadowed me, and the Word of God in Hebrews 2:3 really troubled me, “How shall we escape, if we neglect, so great salvation?”

On the one hand, I saw my Saviour on the cross bearing my sin and guilt, so that I could be reconciled to God. On the other hand were my parents and family, pleading with me to forget it all and to not cause them grief and shame. But like Saul of Tarsus, I could not be disobedient (Acts 26:19). I accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and yielded my life to Him. I was born again (born spiritually) like Nicodemus of whom we read in John 3:3 “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The peace of God filled my heart, for my soul was saved and my deepest need was met in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for me and rose again.

Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Flora Meharg (nee Levy)

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