On this day in 1945, the Russian Army liberated over 2,800 survivors of the Auschwitz extermination camps. All around Europe, other camps were being discovered and the survivors liberated, most of them Jews. But for millions more it was too late. The carnage was so great and so heartless that it’s still difficult for us to fully comprehend. Yet, out of the ashes of these death camps came the desire to return to the land of their fathers and establish a nation to be called Israel.
It could be argued that without the catastrophe of World War II and the Holocaust, the modern state of Israel may not have been occurred. It’s possible that the desire to populate the land and fight for a nation might not have been as strong among Europe’s Jews. Consequently, there are those who look to Ezekiel 37 and the vision of the dry bones as being descriptive of the Holocaust.
“The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O Lord God, You know.’ Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:1-6)
Perhaps this prophecy speaks to the aftermath of the Holocaust and development of the land of Israel. However, it could also be argued that the complete fulfillment of this prophecy has yet to happen. That would mean that there is still a valley containing dead, dry bones that are seemingly devoid of life. The Lord will yet breathe upon His people because, for the prophecy to be fulfilled, these bones must become a mighty army and are called “the whole house of Israel.” All of His people will be gathered back into the land of their fathers. Consequently, this begs the question, “Will there be another Holocaust?” Based upon Scripture, it would seem the answer is “Yes.”
While that is a troubling thought, we must consider what the outcome will be – the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel with Messiah ruling and reigning from Jerusalem. Thus we learn that great things are born out of great suffering. For now, we need to do what we were placed here to do, in the place that we were put to do it. We invite Him to breathe upon us that we might flower and bear fruit where we have been planted. So much is dependent upon each of us playing our part in His plan. So many are counting on us to be faithful to His call. If we are faithful and if we overcome, when the time comes, He will gather all who are His and bring us into that good land.