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An Inside Job

There was an article recently in our city newspaper entitled "Jews Crusading Against Impurity."
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish zealots are demanding that other Jews live purer, more modest lives. In one incident a woman was beaten in her own home by men that broke into her home, she was beaten in punishment because she had been entertaining men. These same Jewish zealots have stoned women for sins such as wearing red.
The Haredi, or Chareidi Judaism, is the most theologically conservative orthodox Jew. A follower is called Haredim. They believe that their belief system and religious practices extend in an unbroken chain back to Moses. The two guides to Jewish law is the written law called the Torah she-bi-khtav, and the oral law called the Torah she-ba'al peh. They believe these are God's holy and most sacred instructions that effect every area of a Jew's life: spiritually, morally, personally. From the beginning of the day until the end of the day, these laws exercise authority over every moment.
It is mystifying for me a gentile Christian to understand this legalism. I understand the laws of driving a motorvehicle, I understand the laws of our Constitution, I understand the laws of the city in which I live, I even understand the laws of the apartment complex that I live in. To live every waking moment of my life with the law of how to dress, how and what to eat, this baffles my mind. These laws are ingrained and permeate into the lives of the Jews, to be a Jew is not just a religion, it is their very life. Even though I do not understand them, I have a love in my heart for them and a respect that transcends the fact that I mean nothing to them.
After reading the article I was immediately struck with the thought that a person's heart can never be altered by being beaten. Is it not the heart of a person that is his true character, true motivation?
No one has beaten me in order that I would have a love in my heart for the Jewish people. No one has beaten me in order that I would love my husband and that I would never do anything that would cause him harm, pain, or suffering. No one needs to beat me in order for me to obey the laws of America. It is in my heart to do these things.
It is a hard, hard, thing to pray for someone who is trying to kill your son. When my son was in combat in Iraq, I prayed for the people that left the bombs on the roads, I prayed for those that were shooting at my son. The ability to pray for your enemy, to pray for those that hate you, to pray for those who do not believe as you do and further more people that you do not understand, to be able to do this is not by casual circumstance. I'm a nice enough person, but not that nice.

"This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds." Hebrews 10: 16, see also Jeremiah 31:33.

Every human needs a radical open heart surgery, not in the literal since, but in the since that humans need a radical change in their heart, it has to be an inside job, and this can only be done by the active work of the Holy Spirit.


dtbrents said…
I enjoyed the article about the Jews. I believe the scriptures about the heart are prophecies about the Jewish nation and will be fulfilled at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom. God bless you, Doylene
cathy b. said…
A good article and it prompts me to pray in gratitude directly to the Holy Spirit. I have seen Him work and I pray that it continues!