Looking at the faces of this terrified child and his mother, held captive by the insanity of a sadistic army led by Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust, my heart breaks to see the fear and trembling and helplessness of this child and his mother.
If ever one doubted the potential for evil that exists in the heart of mankind, here is unvarnished evidence in black and white - this is Satan's domain and, when given free reign, the evil visited upon men, women and innocent children is beyond imagination. Everything that is decent in us protests the existence of this kind of evil. We simply do not want to accept this could ever have happened to anyone, let alone, innocent children and their mothers. But happen it did.
Millions of men, women and children suffered the evils of hell unleashed on mankind at the hands of those who enshrined sadism, choosing to use their military might to delight in the torture and murder of the innocents, while turning a blind eye to the terror in their faces and a deaf ear to the screams of their suffering.
"Anyone who causes one of these little ones to stumble..."
These are incredibly painful realities for us to ponder. It is so tempting to look the other way, refusing to acknowledge that evil exists on this level. We want to say, this was another time and another place. It could never happen today. Or, could it? What would we do if this kind of evil was visited on us today? Would we have the courage to take a stand, at all costs to protect the innocent?
I think we must look into the faces of these children of history and consider what God may ask of us in our life time. We must acknowledge that evil exists on this level and it is running rampant through the streets of the world we live in today.
it would be better for him...
Children are being kidnapped and sold into sex trafficking, used for the twisted pleasure of sex addicts who care nothing about the pain they are inflicting on these innocent lives. They are sold into slavery, cast out on the streets by their own parents, beaten and murdered at the hands of those God called to love them. Do we see them? Do we hear them? The God we serve most certainly does. He has some pretty harsh words for those who neglect and abuse innocent children.
to have a millstone hung around their neck...
In our own times, innocent children are not even safe in the womb. Mothers, entrusted with life from the hand of God, rationalize their "right" to end the life of their unborn babies. Do we seriously think we are better than Nazi Germany when we visit this kind of evil on our own children? Do we hear what He has to say about those who harm "one of these little ones..."
and be thrown into the sea...
Who are we, anymore? Do we imagine that because we live in the United States of America, have beautiful homes and plenty of food on our tables, that we are above the Lord? Do we seriously think we have no responsibility for the modern holocaust committed against our children in our lifetime?
All of this does bring to my mind the call of Esther, who sat on a queen's throne and had all of the wealth of the nation at her fingertips. When evil came boldly into her house, she was very likely terrified. Maybe she just thought, why should she risk anything? After all, she had it pretty good. Did she really need to identify with all the innocent people that would lose their lives if no-one stood up to the evil being planned for them?
The Lord didn't offer her an easy escape route to avoid responsibility for what she saw as a problem that didn't directly involve her.
In the end, she found her courage. She realized she had been blessed beyond measure by a God who called her to look and see the evil all around her; to hear the cries of her people. To care enough to risk it all. Maybe we are under the same call today. Maybe God has indeed placed us where He has placed us "for such a time as this..."