(Gen 12:3) I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you . . .
Today (April 11, 2010) is Holocaust Remembrance Day. The internationally recognized date comes from the Hebrew calendar and corresponds to the 27th day of Nisan on that calendar. It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. In Hebrew, Holocaust Remembrance Day is called Yom Hashoah. Jews often refer to the Holocaust as Shoah (from the Hebrew word for “catastrophe” or “total destruction”). The word holocaust derives from the Greek holo (whole) and caustos (burned) and originally referred to a burnt offering, or a religious sacrifice that is totally consumed by fire.
The Holocaust was the almost complete destruction of Jews in Europe by Nazi Germany and its collaborators during World War II (1939-1945). The leadership of Germany’s Nazi Party ordered the extermination of roughly 6 million Jews. The Holocaust was the worst genocide in history. Those who carried it out methodically created the means to efficiently round up and kill millions of people. The Holocaust led to the establishment of international laws against human rights violations.
Jews were not the only victims of the Nazis during World War II. The Nazis also imprisoned and killed people who opposed their regime on grounds of ideology: Roma (Gypsies); Germans who were mentally impaired or physically disabled, homosexuals, political prisoners, criminals, nonwhites, and captured Soviet soldiers.
Some say the holocaust never existed! This is an extreme case of denial by those who are racist in nature and not wanting to face the facts so they may continue their campaign of intolerance and bigotry.
But anti-Semitism is nothing new. We remember Pharaoh's killing of the Hebrew boys (Exo 1) and Haman's attempt at a murderous campaign against the Jews in the book of Esther. Herod tried to slay the Christ Child (Mat 2:16). You can also trace this hatred of Gods people throughout secular history. Most notable are THE CRUSADES: The First Crusade resulted in nearly 10,000 Jews being slaughtered during the first six months alone. RUSSIAN POGROMS: In 1881-1884 pogroms swept southern Russia, propelling mass Jewish emigration. About 2 million Russian Jews emigrated in period 1880-1920. And of course . . . the HOLOCAUST of WW II. But in reality if you do a study on anti-Semitism throughout history you find it scattered all the way through. And the worst holocaust is coming in the future Tribulation (Zech 13-14; Mat 24; Rev 12).
Why have people historically despised and persecuted the Jews? Satan has always had it in for God's people. He hates God and he hates His people. He knows if he can hurt God's people, He can get back at God. So all throughout history there have been attempts to wipe His people out. But the Lord has always preserved His people. From them came Christ our Lord. The Jews are God's people and He has made an everlasting covenant with them and has given them the land as an everlasting possession (Gen 17:8). And the nation that supports Israel will be blessed!
We must never be guilty of anti-Semitism. The Jews are God’s elect people, and were it not for Israel, we would have no Savior or Bible. We must love Israel and pray for its peace. Let us seek to win our Jewish friends to Christ and even thank them for the important contributions they have made to us as Christians. The nation of Israel may not always be right politically, but they are God’s people and He has a plan for their future. (Psa 122:6) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you . . ."