We CAN Make a Difference–Learning from Elijah

This month’s guest blogger is Yossi Bar Negev from Israel. Yossi is a passionate voice for Israel. With his knowledge of scripture and watchful eye on the media, he brings clarity to the complex issues surrounding Israel.

I’d like to begin with a story about one of my favorite biblical heroes – Elijah (the same guy for whom we set a place at the Passover Seder and for whom we open the door while singing “Eliyahu HaNavi” – “Elijah the Prophet”). He may be considered a hero today but in his own time he wasn’t very popular.

The political leaders hated him; the king called him THE trouble-maker of Israel. The queen, Jezebel,  wanted him dead. Religious leaders despised him because he dared to tell the truth and rebuked them for what they were doing wrong – like worshiping the gods of the surrounding pagan peoples and engaging in their lascivious behavior. In short, he refused to follow or condone the politically correct philosophy of the day.

On top of that, he looked like a wild man – hairy, dressed in what would be considered rags – like something just blown in off the desert. In today’s jargon Elijah was a right-wing nut job.

 Scripture records Elijah’s miraculous victory over hundreds of pagan (false) prophets. You can read the entire account in 1 Kings 18:16-39.

 Despite a fantastical display of God’s awesome power and the humiliation of every pagan priest, one discouraging word from Jezebel and Elijah and ran away into the desert. There he plopped himself under a bush. He wallowed in his discouragement and complained to God that even though he himself had been very zealous he was the only one left standing for the truth – so why bother living anymore? The world was going to hell quickly – why not just forget about it, die and let them go along on their merry way.

 God didn’t put up with Elijah’s whining. First of all, Elijah was wrong: he wasn’t alone. God had 7,000 people who were standing with him against the forces of evil. That’s not a lot in a whole nation, but it’s something–a believing remnant. Secondly, Elijah wasn’t ready for retirement. God basically told him to get up off his tuchus (rear end) and continue the work God had called him to do.

Sometimes we who stand with Israel and the Jewish people may feel isolated in an increasingly hostile world. It’s politically correct now to be pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist (read “anti-Jew”); just ask the UN, EU, the Obama administration, Arab nations, leftist NGO’s, campus and church BDS groups (boycott, divestment, sanctions), many Hollywood celebrities, mainstream media, etc., etc.

Those who take the opposite view and dare to express it are often labeled right-wing nut jobs, ignorant, trouble-makers, even terrorists . . . sound familiar? Because of extreme media bias, these brave souls even have difficulty getting their message out without having it twisted. It’s up to you and me to not allow them to be “voices crying in the wilderness”.

 Thanks to conservative talk radio, blogs and newsletters like Joel’s and mine (what a shameless plug!) we can unearth the truth - which frequently takes a lot of digging – and pass it around to others. Watch some YouTube videos such as Michele Bachmann and Allen West sharing their views on Israel. These people aren’t just speaking to woo Jewish voters or Jewish donations to their campaigns. They really mean what they say and have backed it up with action regardless of political cost.

 Then there’s Glenn Beck. Yes, I know that he may have some odd ideas about various and assorted topics. But the reason he’s been more vilified in the mainstream media than almost anyone else is his uncompromising stand for Israel.

Then there’s you and me, average folks who aren’t making speeches or YouTube videos. How can we get up off our collective tuchus and make a difference? Here are three simple things:

1. Send the link to this blog- another shameless plug – to your friends, post on your Facebook, LinkIn, and other social media outlets. Total time expenditure: 1 to 4 minutes.

2. Do some research on your own and pass your findings on to others. Remember that your friends won’t find this info on the evening news and so they may be totally unaware of the truth unless you inform them. Of course, please, please, please be sure to check out the veracity of your sources first so that even if people accuse you of being a wild-eyed nut case, you’ll be a credible wild-eyed nut case.

3. Be proactive! Watch for negative stories in the media. It is inexcusable to say “I don’t have the time” or “my opinion doesn’t matter”! Emails to newspapers, congressmen, senators, companies, and local businesses can and do make a difference.

Think you can’t make a difference?

I happened upon a news story a number of months ago about a bus ad in Seattle. The city of Seattle, WA, allowed a group to post on public buses ads which read, “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work”[1], accompanied by huge, misleading pictures of “poor oppressed Palestinians”, I—and apparently thousands of other “watchers”—immediately fired off emails to Seattle city commissioners. Because pressure was applied from so many concerned citizens, the ad campaign was eventually cancelled.

So let’s not waste time on hand-wringing and kvetching (complaining). Let’s dust ourselves off like Elijah did, be encouraged, and get to work – we’re not alone!

“Shake yourself from the dust, arise; Sit down, O Jerusalem! Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” (Isaiah 52:2)

Prayer Needs:

Pray that the Lord will provide an opportunity for us to be a credible “voice” for Israel.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all Israel.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America.

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[1] Seattle Times, December 21, 2010, “Metro’s acceptance of  ‘Israeli War Crime’ bus ad draws complaints”, by Keith Ervin

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One response to “We CAN Make a Difference–Learning from Elijah

  1. Ha, right winged nut job. Yeah that rings a bell in my life. This is an excellent reminder to keep standing. Thanks!

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