by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Romans 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
Today marks Holocaust Memorial day here in Israel. At ten o'clock in the morning on this day, war sirens sound calling the entire Land to remembrance of the 6,000,000 Jews who died and many more who suffered under the Nazi regime during WW2. People in their homes and workplaces rise in silence; cars come to a halt, even on the highways; pedestrians stop where they are and pause… for one minute as the sirens wail, we remember.
You may know that these atrocities and many more through the centuries were done in the name of Christianity. Hitler himself said he was a Christian, and deeply sympathized with Martin Luther's antisemitism, as he murdered millions. Systematic torture, abuse and murder have taken a toll on the Jewish people. The few remaining survivors of the Holocaust carry the scars of history's most recent attempt to annihilate them. The "DNA" of hatred and persecution has passed to children and grandchildren, such that the nation of Israel, partly restored to the Land, partly yet in dispersion, is deeply traumatized and constantly recovering. Yet the Lord's love and His faithfulness to Israel remains sure, as Paul said, "for the sake of the Fathers"; and their suffering also, in some way, points to the suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53.
We need to be praying for the Jewish people. We need to be pouring out much love upon them as we await the complete restoration which God has foreordained. As the Scriptures say, salvation is of the Jews [John 4:22]. They were set aside because of unbelief, bringing God's grace to the Gentiles. But…"if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?" [Romans 11:15].
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