Victory in Europe
Editor’s Note: Dr. Victor Buksbazen, then-director of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., wrote the following article on learning the joyous news that World War II was over. Although the article ran in the June 1945 issue of Israel My Glory, its message transcends the bonds of time and speaks to everyone who yearns for peace and the righteous, eternal Kingdom of Messiah.
Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him! These are the words that spring from the innermost depths as the radio announcement comes over the air, “The war in Europe is over!”
Gone is the most vicious, God-defying, and cruel power that the earth has seen thus far. For five years, eight months, and seven days, we have been the spectators of horrors so great that the human vocabulary knows no expression for them. We beheld the spectacle of the uttermost degradation of which man is capable. Man has done evil things before. He has been cruel and degraded in the past; but never before has evil deliberately been set up and exalted as the supreme good and hatred, the greatest virtue. It remained for Hitler to do that.
Sin has scourged the earth with a flood of terror; and in its putrid waters, a large part of mankind went under. Hitler’s war was not merely a war against the Jews or even against his neighbors. His was a war against God and His Christ. He hated God because He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel. He hated the Lord Jesus Christ because He was a Jew. He despised the Word of God because it was once delivered by God through Jewish men. He hated truth, justice, and mercy.
Our rejoicing is great, yet our joy is tempered with sorrow and mourning. We sorrow for the millions who have perished in concentration camps, starved to death, burned in crematoriums, and slaughtered in murder factories. We mourn for those brave soldiers of the Allied peoples who laid down their lives to stem the tide of evil. Some 40 million people suffered and died, not having lived to see the day for which we have all been praying, hoping, and waiting. Their sacrifice in blood, toil, and tears was enormous. And now a ravaged world lies prostrate before us. Hunger, disease, sorrow, and suffering fill the earth. What of the future?
Peace! Peace! Peace! This is the cry of mankind. But peace does not come merely through international conferences and treaties. It is only the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring peace into our world. It is He who will overcome the beast that is Satan and banish sin from the world (Rev. 15:2). For this day we earnestly wait and pray: Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, speedily.
The Unfinished Task
Until that Blessed Day when His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, there is a great task waiting for us. We do not know how long the Lord may tarry in order to give sinful men an opportunity to be saved from the wrath to come. In the meantime, we must work while it is day. “The night cometh, when no man can work” (Jn. 9:4). We must proclaim Christ, heal the deep wounds, and lovingly minister to the millions of victims of unprecedented evil.
What About Israel?
One of the chief purposes of Hitler’s war was to destroy the Jewish people. Did this evil fiend and tool of Satan succeed?
According to a recent London dispatch, one of the Nazi underground radio stations asserted repeatedly, “It is possible that we Germans lost the war, but we have not lost the war against the Jews. Against them we shall continue waging it!”
The first impression is that this Nazi boast at least is true. In almost six nightmarish years of war, Hitler murdered some six million Jews in Europe. But is it “war” to starve; beat; shoot; poison; rape women; inject microbes of cancer, typhus, and malaria; and burn helpless, innocent men, women, and children? Did Hitler win even this kind of war? He did not. He and his hordes went down in disaster and ignominy, a most terrifying example for all the world to see. The fearful words of God to Abraham came true: “I will . . . curse him that curseth thee” (Gen. 12:3).
Survival and Revival
Even in ruined and plundered Europe, the Jewish remnant that survived Hitler’s hell is emerging from its hideouts in caves, mountains, forests, and swamps. They are coming back from the homes of peasants and others who have risked their lives to hide their Jewish neighbors. According to the Jewish daily, Der Tog,
The signs of survival are multiplying. Only a few months ago the number of Jewish survivors was estimated at 800,000 at the most; it is at least a million and a half now. And as the secret hiding places are slowly giving up their stout-hearted dwellers, the number is rising and each group thus emerging from darkness to light augurs well not only for survival but also for revival.
In spite of all Hitlers, past, present, and, we are afraid, future, Israel shall live, because this is the will of our God:
Thus saith the LORD, If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD (Jer. 31:37).
There is for Israel not only survival but a glorious blessed revival:
Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I, the LORD, have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD (Ezek. 37:12–14).
The Unfinished War
Our war is only partly won. Hitler and his evil cohorts have gone down in defeat. There is yet a great battle to be won—the battle against Japan. We pray that victory over that cruel and treacherous enemy may not be long delayed.
Neither is Israel’s warfare yet accomplished, her warfare against the Lord and Redeemer, which has now lasted some 2,000 years.
The God-Man who once wrestled with Jacob is now wrestling with the children of Jacob. And what are His conditions? Unconditional surrender. God overcame stricken Jacob at Jabbok. He will also overcome the children of Jacob. This victory will be the greatest victory for these conquered, for Israel. A new nation will emerge from the struggle, a regenerated people, a forgiven people, a humbled people—a glorified people. No more Jacob—but Israel, a Prince with God:
Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken, neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah; for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married (Isa. 62:4). To this end that Israel may be blessed and, through her, the ends of the earth, let us rededicate ourselves in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. He can use only fully surrendered servants.
The Final Victory
Victory in Europe came, and we thank God with humble and grateful hearts. This is of the Lord and marvelous in our eyes.
Complete victory is yet to come, and it cannot come too soon for us. But far greater than the surrender of Japan will be the V-Day of our Lord when “the kingdom of this world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).