The Scriptures tell us that Yehovah is a God of judgment, so the question is, where was God and why was he silent during the Holocaust? Either God is dead or we accept the testimony of Scripture that God was silent because of sin. The Holocaust was judgment and not an “accident” or an “abnormality.” God uses nations to accomplish his will, and as rods to chastise another. Without this, we would have no fear of God and we would not be able to answer the “whys” of history or the Holocaust.
We have lost the point of view that God is a judge. His wrath and judgment makes his power known, but this idea offends our religious sensibilities and how we would like God to be. One “holocaust” is meant to save us from another one. How far will God go to teach us this, and to save us from the Lake of Fire? Just look at the what happened at the cross, or the Holocaust.
If we accept the premise that the Holocaust was judgment, then we have to ask “What was God judging?” Survivors and spokesmen for the Holocaust have been asked to consider that the sufferings in Israel’s history were prophesied in the Torah and they will say, “I refuse to consider that.” This summarizes man’s self-exaltation over and against God. It begins with the word “I.” Human arrogance will exalt its own opinion, thoughts and will above God’s every time. To refuse to consider the Word of God in why the Holocaust happened is to exalt ourselves above Yehovah. This is a sign of sin and a falling away from the truth. The root cause of the Holocaust is God’s judgment on the sin of self-exaltation of man at the expense of God’s truth and word (Isa 5.11-12, 13-24).
The Holocaust must also be seen in light of Israel’s past. They had a covenantal obligation and God sees us as incorporated into the destiny of the whole nation (Deut 29.14-14). If a covenant doesn’t bring blessings, then we are equally under the penalty of the clauses that bring a curse. If Israel was banished from the land for failing to live under the demands of the covenant we are studying about, how can Israel go back into the land to possess it without considering that the God of Mount Sinai and his covenant (see Lev 26.14-46 and the “vengeance of the covenant”).
We must acknowledge our sins and the sins of the fathers and realize that the judgments of the past were right and just before he will remember his covenant (Lev 26.39-42). We need to see a whole people brought into judgment and that we are joined to the past, and unresolved sin. This legacy must be broken. The justification for the relentless hunt for Nazi war criminals becomes our own indictment (Jer 7.24-26) and God brings the past into the present (“until this day”-Jer 7.25). We must acknowledge our personal guilt and responsibility in what the fathers have done that we can break ourselves from them.
What Israel has suffered historically is the judgment of God (the exiles, persecutions, pogroms, forced conversions, crusades, the Inquisition, terrorism). These should all be viewed in the larger context of covenantal unfaithfulness. Jeremiah hints at this unbroken cycle of sin in Jer 8.5, “Why then has this people, Jerusalem, turned away in continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.”
Our fathers were involved in the murder of the Messiah (Acts 2.36, 3.11-15) and this has been exploited, but it remains true. This truth has not been spoken to the Jewish people in compassion or in a redemptive way. It has not been spoken with hearts that understood that it was for all sin (even the sins of the accusers) that implicated them also in his death. There is a great sin that needs to be acknowledged (Hos 5.15 to 6.3; Jer 3.25) and Yehovah is waiting to comfort Israel. A broken spirit and a contrite heart he will not despise (Psa 51.17).
Anyone with a basic understanding of the Scriptures, and of God, knows that God testifies against Israel. We as a people have chosen to believe a secular, educational, social or a political explanation for the Holocaust. They refuse to believe that the answer for it can be found in Yehovah. In Deut 32.1-43 we have what is called “The Song of Moses.” It is a specific warning prior to coming in to the land about the Holocaust. It warns about judgment. In seeking to understand the Holocaust, we do not consult the Scriptures.
There is a controversy that has asked, “Why didn’t the Allies bomb the concentration camps, railroad tracks and other facilities that supported the death camps?” The answer to that question is found in God. When he brings a judgment, he will bring it with the fullness he intended (totally), through men and in spite of men. Deu 32.20 says, “I will hide my countenance from them.” This means no man can deter it until God is finished.
This song should be known by heart and it would have saved the Jewish people from the destruction that is spoken about and predicted there. We preferred a kind of religion that we believe is “Judaism” but it did not provide this biblical analysis, and many believers in Yeshua today accept Rabbinic Judaism. The tragic absence of that forewarning and understanding is a testimony against Rabbinic Judaism’s efficiency.
Interpreting the catastrophe of the Holocaust is totally disagreeable to current Jewish analysis and assessment. The way that we perceive and justify ourselves is not going to save us from judgment that must come on the Lord’s terms. If you want to see his judgments, then look at the Holocaust and the Messiah. That is the Lord judging, and if you don’t see it then what we have been saying id the underlying cause is true. When we don’t see the hand of God in our judgments, we blame men. Man thinks that if God delays and withholds his judgments, that the calamity, when it comes, is no longer related to the sin.
Judgment can also be seen as mercy. It can be God’s final provision to unrepentant men, when every other grace to get our attention has failed. Then he will restore us in his mercy. The nations are also a part of this judgment. If they don’t repent, then they will receive God’s judgments, too (Isa 13.1-22). The people of the covenant is Israel, and with that comes the greater judgment and the passage of time means nothing. God has not changed and his mercy is to call us to repent (teshuvah) before the fulfillment of what is prophetically said in his word (Isa 13.6, 65.6-7; Dan 12.1; Joel 2; Amos 8.8-10; Zeph 1.2; Zech 14.1-5).
As we study prophecy, it is clear that this generation of Jewish people is going to suffer devastation on a world-wide scale this time. Demonic hatred will be released on every nation, not just one, and that includes the United States. It will be like in Germany, with no place to hide. Then the Jewish people will go back to the land for the Birth-pains and the coming of the Messiah. We have dealt with this extensively on this website.
This last days sifting will be intense, but the Lord will restore (Amos 9, Ezek 20.33-49). Yehovah has chosen Israel to be a statement of who we are as humans. Israel is a “witness” in whom the Lord reveals himself. He will be revealed when Israel is virtuous, and when Israel is sinful. God wants to convert Israel to himself and to life and the true nature of God, not to Replacement Theology Christianity (Jer 3.17). Jeremiah and Ezekiel adhere to the recognition of calamity as judgment because it is the fulfillment of God’s own word. When we recognize that, then revelation and hope can be found.
In Deut 29.1 we will learn about another covenant “besides the covenant he made with them at Horeb (Sinai).” This is the basis for the “new (meaning “restored”) covenant” spoken about in Jer 31.31-34. This covenant was ratified in the blood of Yeshua and Yehovah is waiting for Israel to acknowledge the death of Yeshua the Messiah and set in motion their salvation. If they plead exemption in any measure, then they are lost.
As we have said before, there is a final correction of Israel coming, followed by redemption and glory. Like Jeremiah and Ezekiel did, we must present without hesitancy the case that the catastrophes of Israel was the result of the wrath of God. The judgments of Deuteronomy and the prophecies in Scripture have been validated by history. Suffering before the glory is the center of Israel’s history, but only a remnant will survive what’s coming (Luke 24.26; Ezek 37; Isa 35.10, 51.11).
The State of Israel known today will fail (Isa 49.17-19, 52.9; Jer 30-31; Ezek 36.33-38). Isa 51 and 52 reads like the crucifixion of a nation at the hands of God, with phrases like, “cup of his fury” and “rebuke of they God” or “at the hand of the Lord.” In their direct need, the Lord call Israel to “awake” (Isa 51.17-23, 52.1-2). God’s severest judgments are always redemptive in nature, and his severity is mercy (Heb 12.5-11). To be chastised is not his final say on the matter (Jer 31.10-17). There is hope (Isa 54.2-3; Zech 8.22; Isa 55.5; Isa 56.7-8; Isa 60.1-3). Isa 60 tells us that Israel will eventually be honored and recognized among the nations. Their “light” is not human or “Rabbinic” but it is because they “know the Lord.” The righteousness of God will be imputed in the future (Isa 60.21, 61.11, 62.3-5; Psa 102.12-22).
In conclusion, what about personal restoration? Peter made it clear that all of Israel was culpable in the death of Yeshua, whether they were present or not, willing participants or not (Acts 2.36-38). Yeshua said we are implicated in the sins of our fathers (Matt 23.29-36). Only repentance can save us (Rom 10.12-13; Acts 4.12; Matt 1.21) and that is only in Yeshua (John 1.29, 12.27). Yeshua is the prophesied Messiah (John 5.39-46; Isa 52.13 through 53.12). We must humble ourselves and confess Yeshua and be saved (Rom 10.9-13). If the God of the Babylonian Captivity and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple is the God of the Holocaust, then it is vain to condemn the rod of his fury as the cause, rather than the instrument of that wrath.
We will pick up in Part 24 with the next Torah portion called “Nitzavim” which means ” you are standing.”