AN AMAZING FACT: During the dark years of the Holocaust, hundreds of non-Jews throughout Europe risked torture and death rescuing their Jewish neighbors and protecting them from the Nazis. The state of Israel has honored these courageous individuals with the title “righteous among nations.”
As the dark wave of Nazi Germany spread across Europe, a few courageous people chose to risk their lives to protect others. Defying the Nazis’ efforts to exterminate the Jewish population, some families hid Jews in their barns or basements. Others assisted Jews in fleeing to safer countries. In Denmark, the Danish underground movement worked to save the Jewish citizens of their country. In France, where the memory of the Huguenot Protestants’ suffering under Catholic rule remained fresh, the entire village of Chambon-sur-Lignon saved an estimated 3,000 Jews, many of them young children.
Decades have passed since World War II, but the courage of these individuals has not been forgotten. The state of Israel honored these rescuers with the title “righteous among nations.” An organization known as The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous was founded to financially support and provide for the aged and needy among these people. It is a touching reminder of the words of David in the book of Psalms. “I have been young and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendents begging bread.”
God honors those who choose to follow Him. The actions of “the righteous” truly reflect God’s character and survive as an example to us all. Will we choose to stand up for what is right when evil surrounds us? Will we refuse to passively sit back but rather follow our Savior at any cost? When we make that choice, He will not forsake us.
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Psalms 37:25 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Psalms 37:26