The Chosen People
This question may be asked in two ways. The first assumes that the answer, “nowhere,” is self-evident. However, this question may also be asked in a sincere effort to reconcile the terrible mystery of God’s unfailing goodness with the horrors of human history. Where was God? Who has not, at some time, cried out as the Psalmist did, “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble” (Psalm 10:1)?
God permitted the Holocaust to occur. Where was He? He was in the same position that He occupied at Calvary as Jesus suffered on the cross. God was suffering alongside those who were mercilessly killed by the enemies of the God of Israel. It is one of the most compelling characteristics of the gospel—our God suffers with us and for us.
The Shepherd of Israel
A Shattered Jewry and a Silent God
Joseph Hoffman Cohn
Our nation bleeds. It bleeds in Germany, it bleeds in Roumania, it bleeds in Italy, in fact it is hard to find a land under the sun where Jewish blood does not run like rivers of water. The Jews of the world are terror-stricken, and run hither and thither, and do not seem to know what to do. Rabbis keep stuffing them with false hopes, and they mislead them into blatant demands for certain “rights” as to Palestine or other places. All these tactics only make matters worse, and the Jews find themselves sinking deeper and deeper in the quick sands of world hate.
Yet, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is not dead—the God of Elijah is not dead. Our fathers, the patriarchs and prophets, turned to God in time of trouble, they obeyed His word and God delivered them. Let us also turn to that God and do what He told us to do, obey His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and then having done all, in humble childlike obedience to Him, we can with the fullest confidence look to Him for deliverance. If the Word of God is true, and if Jewish history counts for anything, when that hour comes, the world will witness the most wonderful salvation that ever it has seen in six thousand years of hectic and bewildering history.
The Shepherd of Israel
July / August 1939
(The following is an excerpt from a radio broadcast by Reverend Coulson Shepherd, pastor of First Baptist Church, Atlantic City, New Jersey):
And now I come to the message, which I hope will be helpful to all listening, especially to you Jewish people. We are living in an age when giving offense seems to be the order of the day. The Bible says: “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32).
God’s Word says, “Give NONE offense,” and yet offense is being hurled at ALL these days, especially at the Jews.
We pity the ungodly Gentiles and the professing Christians who are giving offense to the Jews. They are disobeying God, and all who think and act contrary to God’s Word and will are bound to suffer great loss. The Word of God cannot be broken. Therefore, all offenders of Israel will be cursed. Sayeth the God of Abraham, “I will curse him that curseth thee” (Genesis 12:3).
We have been showing all along in these talks that there is a vast difference between Gentiles and Christians. One thing that characterizes a Gentile is a hatred toward the Jewish people. The opposite characterizes a Christian. So whenever you meet or hear of a person who displays hatred toward the covenant people of God, you can know that he is a Gentile and not a true Christian, no matter what his religious profession is. A true Christian is a believer and follower of the Christ of God and, like his Savior, who was a Jew, has love in his heart for those that Christ referred to as “My brethren after the flesh.”
I want to impress upon you this morning that even though persecution against you on the part of Gentiles the world over is on the increase, God is working it together for the good of your nation. God is going to bring eternal good out of the world-wave of anti-Semitism that is forming into an international pogrom with the alleged purpose of driving the Jew into racial suicide. But the Gentile of Jewish hate does not know the Jew. He does not know that the Jew is an old veteran in the business of surviving persecution. From Haman’s day to Hitler’s, the Jew has been persecuted, but he is still here and in far greater numbers and strength than ever before. The persecution, which is now going on throughout the world, is helping to solidify Jewish hopes and aspirations, to bring to your minds the great heritage of Jewry, and, to a certain degree, to remind you Jewish people of your place in the program of God and of your place among the nations of the world.
The Chosen People
Incidents in the Work
“What can we do?” Over and over again our friends are asking us frantically the above question. Many of them have been horror-struck and sickened at heart beyond their own power to describe when they have been reading of the almost unbelievable savageries to which the Jews in the Nazi-occupied lands are being subjected. “It makes my heart sick to the very core,” wrote one of our friends, “and I find myself driven to my knees as I implore God to have mercy. But what else can
I do? It does seem that something can be done and something should be done to stop this orgy of massacre and torture. Tell me what to do and I will do it.”
And from the saddest depths of our heart we can only answer the dear child of God, this is the most important thing you can do—pray! And keep on praying, for God wants us to be importunate in our prayer to Him on Israel’s behalf.
For the moment nothing material can be done; there is no possible way to get money into the hands of these miserable victims of demon hate; there is no way whereby we can rescue even one family from the clutches of Hitler’s maw. But we can leave Hitler and his horde to the hands of a just God. There must be a day of reckoning for this unspeakable fury of hate and brutality.
When Hitler Collapses
But, there is coming a day, and it may be sooner than now looks possible, that Hitler will collapse, the Nazi regime will come to its day of reckoning, the hordes of Satanic hate will be driven into the rat holes from where they came; and in that day literally millions of pitifully helpless Jews, men, women and children, many of them perhaps stark mad with the insanity of what they have been through, these will need such an outpouring of Christian ministry and binding of wounds, that the need can hardly be measured in dollars and cents. For that day you can help us to store up the reserves we will be needing. For the sake of crystalizing the matter, let us call a new fund “Post-War Refugee Relief.”
This is the answer to the question, “What can we do?” What prompted the writing of these lines was the receipt of a letter telling us that the writer was enclosing a draft for $2,000 to be used for just such a purpose as this, to help some Jewish family who has been the victim of Nazi outrages, to bring such a family to America, if possible, to reestablish them and give them a chance to be human beings once more. This friend tells us, “If you cannot do this job immediately, at least the time will come when you can; so here is the money.”
We pass this on now to our devoted and faithful friends, who are weeping with us on behalf of Israel, and who see eye-to-eye with us as we face these staggering problems. We are here to serve you and shall do all in our power to make every dollar produce one hundred cents of results for the Lord.