“For thus said the LORD of hosts, … for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye, … Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, …

                                                                  Zechariah 2:8,10

This past Monday, January 27, the world commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On January 27, 1945, the Russian Red Army liberated the remaining prisoners of Auschwitz. Auschwitz was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II, in which nearly one million Jews were murdered! Most of you have seen pictures or video of the horrors of that time. It was so bad, in fact, that on November 25, 1944, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, ordered that the crematoria and the gas chambers be destroyed. And finally all prisoners were to be marched toward Germany, on what has been called “The Death March”. And Himmler told the camp commanders, “The Führer holds you personally responsible for … making sure that not a single prisoner from the concentration camps falls alive into the hands of the enemy.” There was a recognition that what had been done, was so horrifically wicked, that no-one should ever find out about it!

And today, around the world, hatred for Israel continues to intensify. On the very day that the world commemorated Holocaust Remembrance Day, a student at York University in Toronto wore a sweatshirt stating, “Anti-Zionist Vibes Only”. Why is there such intense hatred for the Jewish people? Are we nearing the end of time, and will Jesus return to rule and reign from Jerusalem? There are differing views with regards to the last days. It would seem that God has been deliberate in not making the future crystal clear for us, so that our trust would remain in Him, and not in our calculated understanding of future events.

But one thing is clear, Israel, as the Old Testament people of God, and the Church, as the New Testament people of God, have always been hated by the world. Nevertheless, the sovereign God holds His people as the apple of his eye, and He is greater, far greater than all the powers of darkness that threaten both Israel and the Church! In the midst of the darkness, we can yet sing and rejoice that our God reigns! The history of the world, of Israel, and of the church is His story, and He is trustworthy! We can rest in Him!