Islam and the Jews – Day 29

Hatred is a strong, negative feeling, a deep emotion that is the opposite of God’s agape (Greek) love. Hatred toward another person or a people group sees the object of our hatred as immoral, dangerous, evil, or all of this together. 

We know that Saul (who became Apostle Paul) was a Christian-hating (Acts 9:1), Christ-persecuting (Acts 9:5) zealot ({Philippians 3:6; Galatians 1:14) before his conversion to the Lord. God reached the hatred in his heart with the truth of the gospel.

On Day 28, we shared about Dr. Mark A. Gabriel, who grew up in Egypt. Memorizing the Qur’an at an early age, he received a PH.D. in Islamic history and culture from Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Through reading the book of Matthew, he became a believer in Christ. He renounced Islam and after assassin attempts, fled Egypt and arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Dr. Gabriel shared that it was natural for him to grow up with a great hatred toward the Jews, because that is the true attitude of Islam. He said, “It was an honor for me to prove to the people around me and even to myself that I was really against the Jews.” He felt it was his duty to visit the cemetery and curse the Jews because the Qur’an says that Allah and Allah’s people will curse the Jews until judgment day (Sura 2:159). Because he was faithful to what he believed, he took every opportunity to speak against them, to curse them, and to spit on their gravestones. Many times he talked about this in his sermons at the mosque and would command the people, “When you walk close to that cemetery, you must give Allah the joy of cursing the children of pigs and monkeys.”

Even though he had received Jesus as his Lord and Savior and left Islam, his attitude toward the Jews stayed the same for two years. One day in Johannesburg, he was taken to a Bible study led by a young lady, an “ex-Jew” (Messianic Jew), now a follower of Jesus. He was afraid because he expected all Jewish people to hate him because of his Muslim background. It was the first time in his life he had ever been introduced to a Jew. When he met her, he was shocked; she was friendly and hugged him. He was shaken up by her kindness. As he met the other people (Messianic Jews and a Jewish family), he couldn’t see any disrespect and hatred. The Lord was impacting him, as the Holy Spirit was teaching and bringing conviction.

At the end of the study, he asked to speak. He said, “Jesus’ most recent miracle happened here tonight. By this miracle, He united you and me to be brother and sister through His blood. No other power in the world can do this type of reconciliation between the Jews and Muslims.” God showed him there was no room for hatred toward other people. He realized he didn’t hate anymore (I John 2:10-11). 

Hatred for others has no place in our lives, whether we be Muslim, Jewish, or Christian!
*Adapted from: Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D. – “Islam and the Jews”

Prayer

Jesus Christ, Himself is the great reconciler for all of us! Pray that all people will recognize that His love can prevail in all relationships, releasing forgiveness and healing of wounded hearts.

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