On April 27, Israel commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Israel, it is a somber day, marked by the 2-minute sound of sirens throughout the country which calls the entire nation to literally stop whatever they are doing and remember those lost in the Holocaust.
It is definitely and exclusively a Jewish thing, but are there lessons to be applied from that horrible time in Jewish history, and the annual remembrances? I think so.
Surely, the Jewish people felt abandoned and forsaken by God during the Holocaust. Consider the horrors:
Yet, God had promised to remember His covenant with them (Leviticus 23:42-45), give them a land (Genesis 17:8), bring Israel from despair (Jeremiah 31:8-9), re-establish their homeland (Ezekiel 11:17), bring them back home to live there (Ezekiel 36:24) and make them prosperous (Isaiah 49:10-11). Oh how difficult it must have been to understand and trust the promises of God while in that despicable condition.
But God did exactly as He said He would! Ezekiel 37 describes a valley of dry bones…the house of Israel (verse 11), and indeed God breathed physical life back into the dead and desolate nation! In a day, Israel was reborn, fulfilling Isaiah 66:8! One day, He will also breath spiritual life back into them, but that is a study for another day!
So, what can we learn from the Holocaust? First, nothing compares to it, so we must be sensitive not to compare our own troubles to the Holocaust. However, God was faithful despite one of the most atrocious, most disgusting and most despicable human tragedies in history. Furthermore, the Holocaust was only one of many times Satan tried to wipe out God’s chosen people. Yet, those attempts always failed and always will.
Why? Because God will always sustain those He loves. Even when all earthly signs say differently, God is faithful. Even in death, God is faithful. He will never, ever abandon those He loves. Your problems and my problems are not too big for Him! When we belong to Him, He sees us through to the other side, whether here on this earth or in eternity!
Having God’s perspective is vital, and we can learn a lot about trusting the One who loves us as we consider the example He gave the Jewish people. Indeed, 6 million perished, but this world was never meant to be our eternal home.
Living through a tough situation? Put your faith in God, my friend! He is the only One who can turn tragedy to triumph and ashes to beauty. Turn to Jesus now!
As life gets tougher and tougher for believers in the last days, those are lessons from the Holocaust we would do well to learn.