A Literary Masterpiece

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”

If you’re an avid reader who enjoys classical as well as contemporary literature, you may have already recognized the source of these memorable words, though they were penned over 150 years ago. Perhaps the title of today’s article helped you make the connection.

Those who’ve never read or can’t remember the origin of this attention-grabbing line are still likely to have seen or heard it, as this catchphrase universally represents people, places, and events down through the ages.

It is the opening lyrics from a historical novel which is one of four bestselling books of all time.

Written by Charles Dickens and originally published in installments from April to November, 1859, it is:

A Tale of Two Cities

So, what is the greatest selling and most read book of all time (by far)?

Easy answer: The Bible.

Was it mere coincidence that Charles Dickens’s began his novel with seven sets of contradictory times? With, for example, the next set: “it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….”

It occurred to me that Dickens consciously or perhaps subconsciously may have modeled his iconic opening after one of the most recognized passages in the Bible: “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). After the opening verse in Ecclesiastes 3, there are seven verses of contrasting “times.” Beginning with: “A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest” (Verse 2).

The final two lines: “A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace” (Verse 8).

Set just before and during the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities was fictional, yet a historical story of two cities—London and Paris. And more so of two countries: England and France. Time doesn’t permit an adequate synopsis of this great novel; plus, I would need to read it again to do justice to even a summation!

Suffice to say that Charles Dickens painted both cities and countries in an unfavorable light throughout most of the book, due to the autocratic oppression by English and French royalty of the poor and less unfortunate. But he also expressed equal disapproval of the Reign of Terror that began with the mob revolt and brutal killing of France’s royal family and many nobles; without really accomplishing the purpose of the French Revolution—righting legal and social injustice.

Historically, you may (or may not) recall: The chaos that resulted by viciously eliminating the autocratic rule of the French aristocracy led directly to a dictatorship in France—as opposed to the democracy established by the American Revolution against England. You remember: Napoleon—one of the greatest (with the connotation of both good and bad … mostly bad) tyrants of all time—filled the lawless vacuum created through anarchy by establishing law and order, then seizing control of France and most of Europe.

Charles Dickens depicted England in a more favorable light toward the end of his novel, principally because the British commoners did not resort to a bloody chaotic revolution. England’s masses also realized that it would be folly and futile to stage a revolution against British royalty while their country was trying to suppress the revolution that had already begun in America.

A Tale of Two Cities is a study of similarities between two eminent cities and countries, and also a study in contrast.

The Ancient Saga of Two (Half) Brothers

The racial and religious friction between Jews and Arabs (rather than a class conflict between the same people as portrayed in A Tale of Two Cities and other novels by Charles Dickens) has been a major struggle from time immemorial. In fact, the dissension between Jew and Arab is longest (continuing) clash in human history. Moreover, both ancient and modern chronicles clearly show that the hostility is almost exclusively a one-way street that runs from Arab/Muslim nations and peoples toward Jews and Israel.

It began when God picked Isaac, not Ishmael, to be the ancestor of God’s chosen people; when he selected Israel, not Egypt (or any other Arab nation), as the Promised Land. Isaac, as the first child of promise, would be the progenitor of the Messiah—the ultimate Child of Promise—who would be the source of redemption for the Jew first, then for all Gentiles, including Arabs! (Romans 1:16). A Jewish Messiah who would come from the lineage of King David, from the tribe of Judah, from the nation of Israel.

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government (of the entire earth) will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, (only he can and will be) Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6, parenthesis mine).

*Note: To affirm an obvious historical fact: The sole reason that a descendant of Ishmael—Muhammad, an Arab—conceived the religion of Islam was to replace the Judeo-Christian faith with a counterfeit creed that refuted and rejected God’s covenant promise to Abraham. In order to do this, Muhammed also had to devise a god to supersede the true and living God of Scripture. Thus, he chose the pagan moon-god, Allah. He plagiarized the Bible by alleging that the angel Gabriel gave him revelations … the same angel who had appeared to Mary to announce that she would give birth to Messiah Jesus.

Think about it: Why would God send the angel Gabriel to the Jewish Virgin Mary to tell her:

Then six hundred years later send Gabriel to (allegedly) tell Muhammad that Jesus was merely a prophet, not even equal to Muhammad. That Islam (an Islamic Caliphate) would rule the world. That Jews (and Christians) should be killed if they didn’t submit to Islamic religious demands? This is only one of innumerable dramatic differences between the Bible and the Koran, between the true God who made man and the man-made god Allah, and between Messiah Jesus who arose from the dead and Muhammad who remains in his grave!

An Appropriate and Relevant Analogy

The epic tale of two cities is a meaningful prototype comparison to a much lesser known, but nevertheless intriguing story of two women, who are cousins.

Naturally they have common ground by virtue of being blood relatives. Both are Muslims born in Nazareth, and both are Israeli-Arabs with full citizenship rights in Israel. But you’ll soon see what makes them so very different.

Their names: Haneen Zoabi and Sara Zoabi.

Hanin Zoabi: (The English spelling of her name from Arabic is Haneen Zoabi; in Hebrew it is Hanin Zoubi. Nearly all media references give her name as Hanin Zoabi).

She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Haifa and a Master of Arts in communication from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before entering politics, she was employed by the Israeli Ministry of Education as a school inspector and before that taught mathematics.

Directly from Wikipedia we read that Hanin Zoabi, “…is an Israeli Arab politician, who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Joint List. Serving in the Knesset since 2009, Zoabi is the first Arab woman to be elected to Israel’s parliament on an Arab party’s list. Representing the Balad party…”

I wrote about her once before in a portion of the Eye of Prophecy article, More Palestinian Lies, posted 2-20-16. Here is an excerpt from that article (in italics):

The Israeli Government is considered to be a Parliamentary Democracy, and is one of the most unique governments in the entire world. It consists of 120 Knesset members representing the diversity of Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs (citizens of Israel) and currently consists of twelve separate parties, including the Joint Arab List … For years, Arab Israelis have served in the Knesset. Presently there are seventeen such delegates who represent the approximately 1.8 million Arabs living in Israel with full citizenship rights.

These inhabitants should be distinguished from the Arabs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, who have refused to become citizens of Israel, and who now bear the identity of Palestinians. Most of the lone-wolf attackers have been West Bank Palestinians, but there has also been a handful of Israeli Arab citizens who committed these crimes.

Israeli Arabs have freedom of transportation throughout Israel, freedom of education, freedom of employment, and (as indicated) freedom even to serve in the Israeli government. The Israeli Arab Knesset members are supposed to represent their fellow Arab Israeli citizens; not the Palestinians, who are (supposed to be) represented by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. That is if you consider corruption as a representative form of government.

On February 2, 2016, three of these Knesset members (Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka, and Basel Ghattas) met with the families of eleven terrorists who were killed during their unprovoked murderous attacks on innocent Jews. Then, the following day the families also met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in his Ramallah office just a few hours after another terror attack killed 19-year-old female Border Patrol Corporal Hadar Cohen, and injured another soldier.

As representatives of the Balad faction within the Joint Arab List Knesset party, both Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka are well-known for their anti-Jewish activism, and have a long history of confrontational incidents with other Knesset members in particular and Israelis in general.

Though yet to be convicted, Zoabi, in particular, has been charged with incitement several times in the past including participation in violent Palestinian protests; resulting in several attempts by fellow Knesset members to remove her from the Israeli government.

Joint List party member Hanin Zoabi seen at the Israeli parliament during a plenum session in the assembly hall of the Israeli parliament on July 11, 2016.

(*Note: What do you make of the posture of the Knesset Member behind Zoabi?!)

Not mentioned in that article: Hanin Zoabi had been suspended from the Knesset for six months in the aftermath of the three Israeli boys (one of whom was a dual U.S. citizen) who were kidnapped and murdered in June, 2014 by two Palestinians from Hebron … affiliated with Hamas. I wrote about the kidnapping of those three teenage boys in Eye of Prophecy article, Bring Our Boys Back, posted 6-28-14. Followed by another article entitled Prince of Peace posted 7-5-18 (Messiah Jesus, Prince of Peace, who is the only source and hope for peace in the Middle East … in the entire world) after their bodies were found near Hebron.

Soon, thereafter, Hamas began launching rockets and mortars into Israel which resulted in the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas. That was the last war between Israel and either Hamas or Hezbollah.

In effect, Hanin Zoabi excused the actions of the Palestinian men who murdered the Israeli boys (even implying they may have been justified in their brutal crime), and also gave implicit endorsement to Hamas which she doesn’t consider to be a terrorist organization. She was reinstated to the Knesset and remains a member to this day, despite subsequent acts that bordered on treason. (Time/space doesn’t permit explanation of the reasons why she is still in the Knesset).

Continuing with the excerpt from More Palestinian Lies:

Yet, in the view of many Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, her (and the other two MK’s) appearance with the families of the terrorists crossed a line that shouldn’t be crossed. Ostensibly this meeting was to demand return of the terrorist’s bodies from the Israelis; but anyone who has any clue at all knows the real reason they met with the families. It was a show of tacit solidarity and overt support of the killers and their actions to snuff out the lives of Jews anywhere and everywhere in Israel.

Political protest is one thing … we have an abundance of that in our own republic of the United States of America. But an out-and-out endorsement of murder (no matter the rationale of the murderers) is far beyond what any democratic or representative form of government should condone in their government representatives….

As an example: Can you imagine if a few United States Senators or Congressmen met with the family of the two Islamic terrorists who killed fourteen people in San Bernardino last year? Moreover, that the purpose of such a meeting was to extend both political and personal sympathy to the family for the loss of these two murderers?

Said Netanyahu: “Members of Knesset who go to comfort the families of terrorists who murdered Israelis do not deserve to be in the Israeli Knesset. I have asked the Speaker of the Knesset to examine what steps can be taken against them….”

Subsequently, the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein filed a complaint to the Knesset Ethics Committee with a strong rebuke of the three Arab MKs … that their actions constituted incitement and, “encouragement to murder.”

Both Netanyahu and Edelstein are absolutely justified in their recommendations, if for no other reason than the oath that all Knesset Members took when sworn into office: “I pledge to bear allegiance to the State of Israel and faithfully to discharge my mandate in the Knesset.”

Using her position in the Knesset to ostensibly represent Israeli Arabs (citizens of Israel), she and a few other Arab Knesset members actually undermine the Israeli government whenever possible—by subtle and sometimes not so subtle representation of the Palestinians who already have their own representatives … the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank (Judea/Samaria) and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

When Hanin Zoabi was first sworn-in as a member of Knesset in 2009, she walked out before Israel’s national anthem, Hatikva, was played and sung. That is tantamount to a member of the United States Congress spitefully walking out on the playing of the Stars Spangled Banner.

I’ve read several of her quotes and quotes about her. In short, she is an avowed enemy of the State of Israel; if (as she puts it) it remains or even is considered, “a Jewish State.” She endorses the rhetoric and actions of Palestinians and many Israeli-Arabs who hate the Jews and do not want a two-state solution. They want one state: the state of Palestine—preferably absent any Jews.

Sara Zoabi:

In stark contrast, Hanin’s cousin, Sara Zoabi, is a staunch supporter of Israel. This is practically unheard of among Arabs and Muslims; and, as expected, vociferously condemned by the vast majority of Arabs in Israel and Muslims in surrounding countries who know of these two women.

She is the mother of Muhammad Zoabi who had voiced his own support of Israel by condemning the kidnapping (then murder) of the three Israeli boys mentioned earlier. Following several serious death threats issued by the Palestinians, he was forced to go into hiding. In an online video he said he wanted to, “show the world the real face of regular Arabs and Muslims who are simply sick of their leaders’ corruption and unlimited hate.” Eventually he was forced to flee to the United States for asylum.

Sara is an accomplished chef who in June, 2015 appeared as a contestant on the Israeli T.V. show MasterChef Israel. During the interview phase of the program, she introduced herself as an, “Arab, Muslim, Israeli, proud Zionist” from the city of Nazareth.

When one of the judges asked her to expand on this shocking disclosure (“proud Zionist”), Sara had much to say. Beginning with, “I believe in the right of the Jewish people to have their own country, which is the state of Israel, the holy land.”

Among other things, she went on to say: “I’m sure that the people who hear me will say, ‘what, have you lost your mind? How can you say you are a Zionist?’ I want to say to all the Arabs (citizens) of Israel to wake up. We live in paradise. Compared to other countries, to Arab countries—we live in paradise.”

She continued: “We have a state that is Israel, and wonderful people who embrace us with love … We must support our soldiers who defend us with their bodies (referring to the Israeli Defense Force) … Our army is the most moral army in the world … Terror and killing is not the way of the Jewish people … (or) our dear Prime Minister … The Jewish people did not choose terror and did not lose their humanity. The Jewish people despite the genocide and persecutions they have suffered, the Jewish people are a pride to humanity.”

Later Sara Zoabi was invited and spoke before the Israeli Knesset, with, of course, strong opposition from her cousin, Hanin Zoabi, who has labeled IDF soldiers praised by Sara, as “murderers.” Hanin had said in the past that she considers the IDF more dangerous than a nuclear-armed Iran. With regard to the IDF or Israeli police silencing Arab terrorists who maim and murder Jews … she’s right!

Then on May 1, 2017, Sara again went public with her dramatic defense of Israel. In a May 5, 2017 Breaking Israel News article posted by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, we read:

“The most inspiring Israel Independence Day video this year was the most unexpected, showing a Muslim Palestinian woman passionately describing her love for the State of Israel in Arabic. As powerful as the video is, the story behind it is even more so.

“The video was posted … by Boomerang, a non-profit organization working towards improving Israel’s image via social media … and in a few short days has garnered almost one million views. In the video, Sara Zoabi, an Israeli Arab, stood proudly in front of the Knesset Building, expressing her love for Israel in no uncertain terms. The video stands as an open challenge to the way Israel-haters view the plight of the Palestinians in Israel.

“Zoabi unabashedly declares in the beginning of the video, ‘I believe with my whole heart in the right of the Jewish People to a sovereign state in the holy Land of Israel. It is a right that God promised.’

“She goes on to enthusiastically praise Israel and the Jewish People, waxing poetic. ‘The sun shining over you and the wind blowing through your fields, they are the inspiration for my love for you,’ she said in her native Arabic. She decries Arab terrorism and praises Israeli humanitarian efforts.”

(Note: Please take a few minutes to watch all or at least part of this video, posted as a link at the end of today’s Eye of Prophecy article).

My personal response: May God richly bless this amazing and courageous woman. May the Lord graciously lead her to the next step in her journey to walk along side of Israel by showing her that He alone is the true and living God. That she will one day also say what a Gentile woman named Ruth said long ago to a Jewish woman Naomi:

“…Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God” (Ruth 1:16).

Even more: That she will believe and receive the one and only Messiah to Jews and Gentiles alike—Jesus Christ; who is a descendent of Ruth (and her Jewish husband Boaz).

(Depiction of Ruth and Boaz)

A Tale of Two Cousins: the ancient and modern-day conflict between Arab and Jew.

On the one hand it is the sad story that is indicative of Muslims in Israel and in many democratic countries of the world. Who (either as citizens or refugees) misuse the freedom granted to them by denigrating their host nation and by calling for the demonization of Israel and even genocide against the Jews (as an Imam in a California mosque did just a few days ago).

On the other hand, there are a few Arabs and Muslims like Sara Zoabi (and like writers Khalid abu Toameh, Bassam Tawil, A.Z Mohamed, or Turkish author Uzay Balut) who recognize and overtly support the right of Jews to live in the sovereign State of Israel, a land given to them by God as a permanent inheritance.

It is an ongoing story of good and evil, of light and darkness, of love and hate.

Though not with the same either/or extremes, the story also brings to mind:

Two Attributes (of God)—Love and Justice

God is Love

The last two Eye of Prophecy articles, Jewish Sovereignty on Temple Mount, Part I & II, and a few like them—such as the above quoted More Palestinian Lies—were written to expose the actual adversarial agenda of Arab Muslims in general and Palestinians in particular against Israel.

Does that mean that I dislike or even despise Arab Muslims as individuals? Not at all. Though not as often as my prayers for Israel’s national redemption and personal salvation of individual Jews, I also have prayed for God’s salvation to Israel’s enemies. For you see, the true and living God loves everyone equally and unconditionally, including Arabs. As a sinner saved by the Grace of God, the least I can do is to love them, too. At the very least, not to hate them. It’s the old adage that is truly Biblical in its origin: hate the evil that people do, but not the people themselves.

In his Gospel, the Apostle John records the words of Jesus in what is probably the most well-known passage in all of Scripture: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone (each person can put their own name in place of “everyone”) who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, parenthesis obviously mine).

Later in his first epistle, John confirms what Jesus proclaimed: “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (I John 4:9-10).

God gave us his Son, because:

As a result, “We love each other because he loved us first” (Verse 19).

As difficult as it is for me to understand this; the Lord loves Hanin Zoabi the same as he loves her cousin, Sara Zoabi.

“…He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent” (II Peter 3:9).

All of God’s attributes are entirely equal and consistently compatible. The Lord demonstrates his attributes (his glory, his very essence) in perfect harmony one with another.

God is Holy and Just

Yes, God IS Love. But he is also a holy God, who is the righteous judge of all the earth.

Wrote King David: “But the Lord reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness” (Psalm 9:7-8).

We all are under God’s judgment as soon as we are born into this world. It is a foregone conclusion that we will sin because we are born with a sin nature.

King David acknowledged his sin and innate capacity to sin when he confessed to the Lord:

“Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—yes, from the moment my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:4-5)

The Apostle Paul reminds us: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Romans 3:23).

Set aside for a moment any objection you may have that God’s judgement of (all) sin is too harsh; meaning eternal separation from him and heaven, for all who do not accept his pardon by believing and receiving the one and only remedy for sin—Messiah Jesus’s substitutionary sacrifice on the cross.

Think about the incredible evil in the world in general, and the specific horrible consequences we’ve all experienced because of the wrong things we’ve done to ourselves, to others … or what has been done to us.

Dare we abolish law-enforcement and judicial systems that prevent anarchy and help keep us safe by apprehending, trying, convicting, and punishing people for their crimes? Shall we ignore the life-giving and life-guarding moral benefits of the Ten Commandments or trivialize the consequences of breaking them? Should anyone be able to get away with anything that violates God’s laws.

According to God’s righteous standards, any and all sin is an offense against him, whether it’s a violation of civil/criminal statutes, or not. Is it right to get away with lying, stealing, adultery, and a host of other sins as long as we don’t get caught? Even though you might bring yourself to forgive someone for raping your daughter or murdering your son, would you also want the person who attacked your child to not pay the price for their terrible crime? Is do the crime, but not the time the way to maintain law and order?

Everyone’s salvation is a personal matter between them and God. Each person’s eternal destiny (heaven or hell) depends on whether they accept Messiah Jesus as their personal Savior. God’s final judgment at the end of the Millennium on all who have rejected his Son is actually the sentencing phase of God’s justice. Just like a judge in a court of law imposes the sentence on someone who has already been found guilty. (See Revelation Chapter 20).

Let’s read the verses immediately following John 3:16.

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil” (John 3:17-19).

For those who have been born again from above, God has forgiven all our sins and granted a full pardon from the penalty thereof. Messiah Jesus paid that penalty and satisfied God’s perfect justice.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus … The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son is a body like the bodies we sinners have … giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4).

Things to Ponder

The tale of two Arab cousins is the universal story of two hearts. One filled with goodness, kindness, and love (for Israel and the Jews). The other harboring irrational hate and senseless bitterness toward another race of people, just because they’re Jews.

All hearts—both good and bad—need Jesus. Sara Zoabi needs personal redemption just the same as her cousin, Hanin.

However, as mentioned in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles, God has designed two plans for the human race. In addition to personal salvation for Jew and Gentile alike through the Jewish Messiah Jesus, he also has established a national destiny for his chosen people the Jews and his special possession Israel. Accordingly, the Lord promises to bless those who bless his people and bless those nations whose God is the Lord (Genesis 12:3 & Psalm 33:12).

God will bless those who support Israel and who champion the sovereign right of the Jews to live in the Promised Land. For Sara Zoabi and others like her, I believe God’s blessing could very well result in her salvation. That she will embrace the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and make a personal decision to accept Messiah Jesus, a descendent of Israel’s forefathers, as her personal Savior. And as the King of all kings.

Although possible, it’s (sadly) unlikely that Hanin Zoabi will ever get to that point in her life. She seemingly has staked out an irreversible position that most Muslims take: Their Muslim god hates all infidels (Jews and Christians) who refuse to submit to Islam.

Although the Lord had to discipline his people for their disobedience, that time of corporate punishment is over. His plan for Israel’s final restoration of their sovereignty in Israel and national redemption is nearing completion.

His passionate love and purpose for Israel and Jerusalem will not be denied.

Nor will his justice against Israel’s sworn enemies be dismissed.

The following is an excerpt from the earlier mentioned Eye of Prophecy article, Prince of Peace, which was written after the three kidnapped Jewish boys were found murdered and buried in a shallow grave near Hebron, Israel (in italics):

Warning! You are about to read graphic language straight from the mouth of the true and living God, the God of Israel, and the God of all who have put their trust in his son, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ). But these harsh future judgments to be inflicted by God against Israel’s enemies (and there are many such passages in Scripture) reveal to us the serious consequences and destiny of those who seek to destroy Israel and the Jews…

(*Note: In Scripture, Edom (Mount Seir) is representative of all nations who despise Israel. The Edomites were descendants of Esau. God chose Esau’s twin brother Jacob to continue the Jewish lineage of Messiah. See the one-chapter book of Obadiah which, in addition to the below passage from Ezekiel, also contains God’s indictment against Edom … the nations).

“Again a message came to me from the Lord: ‘Son of man, turn and face Mount Seir, and prophesy against its people. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: ‘I am your enemy, O Mount Seir (Edom), and I will raise my fist against you to destroy you completely. I will demolish your cities and make you desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Your eternal hatred for the people of Israel led you to butcher them when they were helpless, when I had already punished them for all their sins. As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, since you show no distaste for blood, I will give you a bloodbath of your own. Your turn has come! I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return. I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your ravines will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword … Therefore, as surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will pay back your angry deeds with my own. I will punish you for all the acts of anger, envy, and hatred. And I will make myself known to Israel by what I do to you” (Ezekiel 35:1-11).

“But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved…” (Joel 2:32).