(A meditation on Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day)
For the Jewish community, and those who share their G-d, and their beliefs, today is Yom Ha Shoah, Holocaust remembrance day. There are many who are astounded at this, who ask, "Who wants to remember something so intensely painful?"! But there are reasons why we must force ourselves to endure this pain of remembering! George Santayana is quoted as saying, "Those who refuse to remember history are doomed to repeat it". So, especially for those who somehow miraculously, survived those horrible places, called "Work Camps", and even those who did not personally suffer the "camps", but who suffered the horror of those times and still remember the many of their loved ones that did not survive, The cry of this day, is still "Never Forget! Never Again!"
I personally have always wondered how anyone could possibly manage to forget?! Then I saw the articles by those whose goal it is to wipe out this part of history, to pretend that it does not exist! Though it is desperately hard to grasp, there are those, the insidious re-writers of history, who are already saying that it never happened! They have deceived themselves into thinking that the "Jews and Christians made this whole thing up to further their cause". Or, perhaps they have allowed others to deceive them, nonetheless, they are intensely deceived. I can not fathom why they would want to perpetrate this deception, unless of course, they are planning to repeat Hitler's efforts to annihilate this people and their G-d.
That is the reason behind the motto, and the war cry, "Never Again!". So that these atrocities can not be repeated! Seeing the real footage of the victimization of millions of Jews, along with "Righteous Gentiles" (those who attempted to defend them or who spoke out against what was happening), as well as those who were simply unfortunate enough to be helpless; the mentally or physically impaired, the many of those slaughtered simply because their "usefulness had expired" or were too young to be "useful" yet. (Basically, "when it comes to the Jew, any excuse will do", it seemed, to be Hitler's motto, in his deranged mind, but then, to be fair".
What is so difficult to grasp, I think, is that it could and did happen in such a supposedly "enlightened" age. We know that such widespread pillages were a regular part of war in the days of vikings and other times of widespread barbarianism, but in a civilized world, how can it be? But then,I dare you to ask that question to the "Native Americans", or the Americans of African descent, and to many others whom we have "managed" in the name of "Christian Liberty"!
I do not believe that literal hell could be much worse than what those people of the holocaust endured. They were separated from everything that meant life to them. The one thing that they could not be separated from, however, was and is a firm grasp on their G-d. Those who did not have that firm grasp however, sadly, lost their faith and hope as well as everything else which they held dear. And even though their body "survived", for some of them, their souls live in the hell of bitterness until this very day. No one can truly "survive" hardship of any kind without hope, and I can not speak for all, but I have never found that kind of hope apart from G-d, I can not think it to exist separately from Him.
(Note: for the purposes of this writing I am talking about the only G-d that I know, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, blessed be His Name. The G-d who sacrificed His own Son, Yeshua, so that we can be delivered from the wickedness of our own hearts. The only G-d who actually lives without the help of our imaginations. The only One who ever answered when I have prayed to Him. I could go on. But I think that clarifies it well enough.)
Actually the answer to the question, "How can this happen in a civilized society", is simple, we should realize that there is no "culture", no matter how "civilized", nor any education, no matter how thorough, that can ever be the answer for the craven, lust driven, evil of the fallen nature, with which mankind is infected! A sin nature, which the hope of the Jewish nation, in their Messiah, was to answer and eradicate. A Messiah which they continue to hope for each year at their feasts. The same feasts, by the way, which keep our G-d, and His Holy Scriptures alive for us. A Messiah that is to deliver them from the sin nature and the hell which it is expected to produce, a hell which is defined as that which separates them from Ha Shem, their G-d and our G-d, Blessed is He. A Messiah which we believe to have already come, as believers in Yeshua!
Therefore, I find it a very sad thing to be living in an age when, once again, people, especially the people of this once G-d fearing nation, have decided that this G-d is a lie. When a people, that He has blessed above all other people, have taken His glory as their own, and stricken Him from their culture to go whoring after other gods of their own making - again! Only this time it isn't Israel of which I speak, but the proud America. Falling all over themselves after demigods which they worship with their time, money and energy. To whom they give the dedication which Ha Shem, The Almighty, reserved for Himself in Deuteronomy - which was "To Love the LORD our G-d, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength", and Yeshua enlarged it to include, "and to love our neighbor as ourselves". In our nation, however, it is boiling down to this, that each man, woman and child reserves that kind of love only for himself, or herself, as the case may be. We keep surrendering our higher ethics to the false god of selfishness, also known as narcissism. We surrender them so easily now, because higher ethics can only come from outside of ourselves, and we have vehemently, or ignorantly, rejected the source of them!
Why can we never seem to really learn from history? This to me is evidence that education is clearly not going to be enough of an answer! Why do we not take notes from the stories, of the nation of Israel, found in our own Scriptures? Even if one relegates them to "only historical texts", as some have claimed, they still repeat a traceable pattern time after time, that is best to be avoided! And somehow, "we", the rest of the "civilized" world, (especially religious non-Jews) can acknowledge the mistakes of the Jewish people, conveniently using them as sticks to justify beating them, but we can not seem to acknowledge the Truths that surround those mistakes time and again - that the love and mercy of that same G-d, which they persist in insulting, always forgives them, and eventually delivers them - when they see the error of their ways and repent!
I keep using the word "we", since, by he plan of an all knowing G-d (aka a "simple turn of genetics"), I was not born in the Jewish line (as far as I know). But I was born in this ungrateful nation of which I write. Otherwise I do not wish to be identified with the perpetrators of these crimes of prejudice. Yet I know in my heart that I am not completely clean of that fault either. As hard as I have worked to eradicate it, prejudice still lurks there, alarming me at times with a comment or a sentiment of negativity.
We are a brainwashed nation! You see there is a faction at work which has been successful at convincing us that he doesn't really exist, that this is all our own idea. There is a "mind behind", that imitates us so convincingly, and since we love to think that we are so independent, we actually fall for it most of the time!
However, his goal is always the same, and this fact is historically observable, almost laughably so. It is that faction which would see G-d brought down, that would love nothing better than to make G-d out to be the liar! It is, in fact that same enemy who played the part of the serpent in the Garden of Eden, whose purpose was to destroy the relationship between G-d and His creation, ultimately stealing G-d's authority and position of Melech Ha Olam, King of the Universe. Since that take over plot in heaven went badly for him.
That same unholy spirit still lurks about whispering to us, "Did G-d really say....?". And being the ignoramuses that we are, we are still listening! We are still, too often, falling prey to his strategies, to which the Word of G-d constantly warns us to stay alert in order to avoid. We have succumbed to his presumptuous pride. And, as a result have become a nation of embarrassingly stupid and pitifully prideful peacocks, vainly strutting our stuff and going to hell in a very stylish hand-basket!
So then, what is to be done to correct this wretched turn of events!? As the prophets of old would cry out,so I must repeat again for this generation, "Turn back to G-d! Turn back to His commandments! Turn back to the Truth of His Word! Return to Him!" And I am, of course, speaking again, speaking still,speaking ever, to those who claim to believe! Because, logically, no one canreturn who never turned in the first place!
But this nation once claimed to follow after G-d! They once cried out to Him for deliverance and He did deliver! Though we have not acted with integrity. Though we have slaughtered His Scriptures (not to mention many of His people!) and have ignorantly ignored His commandments, and have turned a deaf ear to the cry of innocents - still, He has mercifully regarded us, because in out hearts we once ran after Him! Though we are guilty of the sin of Asa, in that, "...He - and we - did not pull down all the high places in Israel". We have also allowed the false gods to live in this nation. We have regarded them as benign, harmless curiosities, museum pieces and valuable parts of history. But slowly, over time, our hearts have gone after them. And at every place in which we have given our attention to them we have taken it away from G-d. At every place in which they have increased, and there are very many more places than we realize, He has commensurately decreased, to the point that He is relegated to being only "one of many" at best, or completely disregarded, defamed, or outright denied, at worst.
What a shame it is to see the nation that once boasted being the "Land of the free, and the home of the Brave" cowering to these foreign entities to whom we have sold our souls and freedoms, for the price of some oil! How frightening it is to see the leaders of our nation, who have perjured themselves in swearing to represent our position, take a stand against all that is Holy - our G-d, His Holy Scriptures, and His Chosen people - all that has secured His protection of us, historically and literally - in support of Muslim Terrorists! They have defected, they have sold us to the enemy and they are foolish enough to think this enemy will spare them?! That they will be allowed, somehow, to continue their dishonest, looting, polluting lives at our expense! Is it possible that they really don't know that in selling us, they have sold themselves?! For, like it or not, know it or not, ignore it or not, dispute it or not, There Is a Holy G-d in heaven, and He is not pleased with our duplicity! It is written, "He (Ha Shem) will not always strive with man, nor keep back His anger forever!"
He (Ha Shem) has Written what will be, and, like it or not, we are playing it out with each day that passes. Judgment has come to the house of G-d. Suddenly the Holy men of America, those who have held G-d in high esteem, and had given Him a place of proper reverence (though their Truth may have been a bit limited by western culture - "Asa syndrome"), are being called home. And along with them, the heroes, the ones who fought for freedom against the bullies of WWII, and the women who faithfully supported them with prayer, sweat and tears are passing on. And with the passing of this generation of noble G-d fearing ones, passes all that they stood for, because we have let ourselves be talked out of the "baton", we have not caught it! We let it pass by us because we did not like the price tag which was attached to it. How foolish we are to believe that we can keep the goods - freedom, among the most valuable - without paying the price!
We, the spoiled recipients of their hard work, and great sacrifice, have become consummate consumers, looking out for #1. We have drowned ourselves in work, and dulled our senses in play and pleasure. Convenience and prosperity have become the gods to which we devote our "minds, souls, hearts and strengths", the gods whom we whore after, selling our souls to, in order to have the things which we think we want.
Yet many of us still imagine that we are "bought with a price", and "covered by His blood". What will it take to wake us up to the fact that we are gambling with things we don't really own? What will it take to make us see the reality of our spiritual poverty? Persecution perhaps may do the trick? It usually does. Well, hold on to your hats folks, because those winds are already blowing. And the literal winds which we have recently experienced, the tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis that have pummeled earth in recent months, can not even hold a candle to them!
Somehow I always end up back at the same place, however, II Chronicles 7:14; "...If my people, which are called by my name...."! I, for one, am currently in the business of Teshuvah - aka - Repentance. Since the elections, in fact, my eyes have become opened to the true state of this nation, especially the sad state of those who claim to "believe". I have been jerked awake to the fact that we have entered the time of judgment.
As a result of this awakening, I have studied repentance, because I sensed a desperate lack of something crucial. I have sought G-d's face, I have searched His Word, I have cried out to Him, and forced myself to get quiet enough to listen, and He has shown me incredible things. Incredible because they are so foreign to what I have generally known! Nonetheless, I asked! So when He shows me where I am out of line I am putting my strength and energies toward fixing it! I am diligently working to turn from the misconceptions to which I have clung, to the Truth which I am discovering! That is what was missing, the second half of Teshuvah!
That is true, whole-hearted Teshuvah - Repentance. And that is what II Chronicles 7:14 is calling for. It is the only hope for our nation. Though I can not claim an understanding of all that is written there, I have read the book of Revelation. Therefore I know that the end must come, I know that Judgment for obstinate rebellion must take place, and I know that those who have had access to His Truth will be judged the hardest of all for ignoring it! So how much of this unpleasantness we can divert? That I do not know. I can not know.
Some will ask, "then what is the point?". I will tell you, because,"what is right is right". That is a concept which we have lost - being answerable to an absolute Truth that determines what is right! Righteousness for righteousness' sake. The point is this, for me personally, when I see this magnificent loving G-d face to face, I would love it if He was smiling at me, and not frowning in disappointment! Though I count on His mercy to compensate for my slowness or real handicaps, because of Messiah's sacrifice for those who repent of their sins, I still am not so presumptuous as to expect to be "excused" from negligence or known rebellion! Let's face it, no one makes it out of this planet alive. That being so, it has occurred to me that we perhaps need to focus on the place where we may be going? And according to the real Holy Scriptures, which the universally hated Jews have preserved for us, there are only two possibilities and definite guidelines for either. Again we come back to Ha Shem's original "take it or leave it" deal, "Choose Life, and with it the blessing" or receive "Death, and the resulting cursing" which then becomes our "choice", by default.
Today, May the first, there will be a walk of remembrance. We walk today as a statement to our nation that we are committed to remember. We however, will walk in comfortable shoes, decently clad in clothing of our choice, with cold water to drink, and food to share with loved ones when finished, in full realization and great sadness that those we walk to remember were denied all those things! We walk today in remembrance of those who perished as victims of this great evil, and also in remembrance of those, "under G-d", who became the victors over it!
In this season of remembrance, as we take a solemn look at what evil ultimately, always, produces, we should be asking ourselves, "Which route have I chosen?" I encourage you, as you contemplate these painful issues, to find a place of real Teshuvah, and in that place of repentance, no matter what it may cost you, I encourage you to choose life, both here and hereafter.
L'Cha'im! L'Shalom! B'Shem Yeshua Ha Messhiach! To Life! To Peace! In the Name of Jesus our Messiah!