My study of the bible has recently brought me to the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a fearless man who recounted his visions from God to the people of his day. Many of these prophecies were a foretelling of the near future death and destruction of his own people, the Israelites. Unfortunately, these prophecies were ignored by the Israelites and therefore, many perished before his eyes in the most gruesome of ways.
This will be a visual post to illustrate God’s wrath — images to accompany a handful of the verses from Ezekiel’s prophecies. The reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, whose conquests and slaughter of the Israelites were prophesied by Ezekiel, must have been just as cruel and monstrous as that of Hitler. The photographs that we have today, taken of events that occurred only 70 years ago, surely provide us with as accurate an illustration of what the Israelites endured around 600 B.C. as possible.
By no means am I claiming that the Holocaust was caused by God’s wrath. Nonetheless, God did permit this tribulation for reasons unknown. In the images we find brutality, savageness and merciless torment. Do not ignore the anger of your Lord; he is loving and kind, but He is also vengeful, and can be provoked to absolute and discriminate anger, just as you find in these photographs. What’s more – and as hard as it is for me to imagine – it is written that the Final Tribulation will be much worse. The Holocaust ought to be a warning to the people of God. Not even His own chosen people, the Jews, were kept safe from harm. In fact, as we all know, it was the Jewish race that was specifically singled out during this horrific time of genocide.
I’ll remind you that the photos of the people, locations and events you will see here are not to be taken lightly. The atrocities of the Holocaust are very personal and real, and will never be forgotten. In the words of Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor:
My number is 174517; we have been baptized, we will carry the tattoo on our left arm until we die.
The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.” Ezekiel 4:13
…The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away…. Ezekiel 4:16-17
Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. Ezekiel 5:10
I cannot find an image for something so completely horrific, and even if I did, I couldn’t bear to post it.
…I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. Ezekiel 5:10
…I will not look on you with pity or spare you. Ezekiel 5:11
“I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by. You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. Ezekiel 5:14-15
In November 1940, the British authorities sent 5,000 illegal Jewish immigrants to Mauritius on the ship Patria. After a bomb – aimed at stopping the deportation – exploded on the ship, the Patria sank. Of the 1,800 refugees on board, 216 drowned. The survivors of the Patria disaster were detained in Atlit. (www.ushmm.org)
…I will scatter your bones…. Wherever you live, the towns will be laid waste and the high places demolished…what you have made wiped out. Your people will fall slain among you…. Ezekiel 6:5-7
…I will not look on you with pity; I will not spare you… Ezekiel 7:4
…Disaster! Unheard-of disaster? See, it comes! Ezekiel 7:5
None of the people will be left, none of that crowd—none of their wealth, nothing of value…. Ezekiel 7:11
Every hand will go limp; every leg will be wet with urine. They will put on sackcloth and be clothed with terror. Every face will be covered with shame, and every head will be shaved. Ezekiel 7:17-18
Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs…I will give their wealth as plunder to foreigners and as loot to the wicked of the earth, who will defile it. Ezekiel 7:19-21
I will turn my face away from the people, and robbers will desecrate the place I treasure.
They will enter it and will defile it…I will bring the most wicked of nations to take possession of their houses. Ezekiel 7:22-24
When terror comes, they will seek peace in vain. Calamity upon calamity will come…. Ezekiel 7:25-26
As I listened, he said to (those who are appointed to execute judgment), “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children…. Ezekiel 9:5-6
They will go into exile as captives. Ezekiel 12:10
Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. Ezekiel 15:7
It is a sword for slaughter—a sword for great slaughter, closing in on them from every side. So that hearts may melt with fear and the fallen be many… Ezekiel 21:14-15
I will pour out my wrath on you and breathe out my fiery anger against you; I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, men skilled in destruction. You will be fuel for the fire, your blood will be shed in your land, you will be remembered no more…. Ezekiel 21:31-32
There are people today who deny the Holocaust ever happened.
…all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are but the dross of silver. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into Jerusalem. As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are gathered into a furnace to be melted with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you. I will gather you and I will blow on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath on you.’” Ezekiel 22:18-22
…Bring a mob against them and give them over to terror and plunder. The mob will stone them and cut them down with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters and burn down their houses. Ezekiel 23:46-47
Not even halfway through the book of Ezekiel I am ready to stop drawing out quotes for this post. The wrath of God is too immense for me and I am overwhelmed.
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, wrote:
“It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.”
“Sometimes I am asked if I know ‘the response to Auschwitz’; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don’t even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response.”
God’s anger is not limited by time or eras, and it can and will be unleashed upon even His own chosen people; the Israelites’ sin lead to their destruction during Ezekiel’s day.
“(Ezekiel), I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Ezekiel 2:3-4
God’s burning fury as a result of our sin can only be quenched through His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus bore our sins at his death. All we have to do is accept that fact. Avoid God’s vengeance; hell is eternal.
I cannot claim the honor of being one of God’s chosen people. I do however, consider myself one of God’s children, born again in a new spirit. Thank goodness He gives us all that opportunity!
Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:31-32