On Sunday, the Jewish people in Israel and around the world will recognize Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura (“Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day”). This is the day that we honor the memory of the approximately six million Jewish people who were murdered in Nazi Germany, between 1933 to 1945.
This day marks one of the most tragic events in the history of the Jewish People. We live in a day and age where there are people like the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others who deny the existence of the Holocaust or are say that it did not happen as people report. Others criticize the Jewish people for continuing to commemorate this as a “poor me statement”.
In a recent visit to Yad Vashem (The Israeli Holocaust Museum), I heard an emotional and powerful story of a man named Asher who survived the Holocaust. At the end of his story I asked him what he would like the group that I was leading to take with them when they return home. He replied, “Don’t forget”.
It is remarkable that, in our day and age, some of the events and statements we hear from various people are reminiscent of those made before and during the time of World War II and the Holocaust. One of the most difficult things for me to accept is the fact that the world was silent; people chose to ignore the things that were happening in Europe and did nothing for a long time.
Some of the saddest stories for me to hear are those of Jewish people in the trains, on their way to the concentration camps who heard the singing coming from the churches as people raised their voices in worship to God. The irony of it is that they were worshipping the God of Israel, while His people were on their way to their deaths. Many people think this happened only in Europe. However, the Body of Messiah all over the world was quiet and preferred to just continue on with their own lives.
Today we are witnessing fulfillment of prophecies that are written in God’s Word, the Bible. I believe we are clearly seeing steps taken, which will lead to the day when all nations will gather against Israel (Zechariah 14). Just a year ago, nobody would have believed that America, Israel’s closest political ally, would give statements like those that we have heard lately by some of the US leaders. And so it will continue to be around the world. In light of this, I would like to suggest that as we approach the day of the Messiah’s return and Israel will take center stage in world politics, the next big divide in the Body of Messiah will be over the issue of Israel.
Asher asked us not to forget, but I will take that one step further; I challenge us not only to remember the history, but also to not repeat the sins of those who kept quiet and did nothing. When you see a crime and do nothing to stop it, it is as if you partake in it. I exhort us all to stand up for God and his Word; we must decide how we will act before the times become all the more difficult.
The world will gather against Israel, as his Word clearly states. What will you do in those days? Will you stand for God and His righteousness? Or will you choose another path? You and I have one of two options: to fear man or fear God!
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