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Summary: A message that encourages us not to run from certain situations in life and godliness but to stay and see the salvation of the Lord.

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STAY AND FIGHT

TEXT: Psalm 11:1-7

Psalms 11:1-7 KJV To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? [2] For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. [3] If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? [4] The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. [5] The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. [6] Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. [7] For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.

I. INTRODUCTION—A MAN WHO WAS DETERMINED TO STAY AND FIGHT

On June 26, 1949 there was a funeral in Tel Aviv, Israel, like none that world had ever seen or known before. The newspapers reported there were tens of thousands of people present in and around the Great Synagogue on that day. In the main hall of the synagogue a glass box that was five feet long held thirty porcelain urns. The newspapers reported that inside of these thirty urns were the ashes of an estimated 200,000 Jews who had been murdered in the Holocaust.

The box was loaded onto a police vehicle that would travel through the city streets. The pace was very slow because it had to make its way through the thousands of mourners who cried out “Mama! Papa!” as the procession made its way to the cemetery. Some were so overcome by grief and horrific memories that they fainted. The procession wound its way through Jerusalem until it came to the ancient cemetery of Sanhedria where some of the graves were two-thousand years old.

The man who was responsible for the event was Simon Wiesenthal. In 1949 he was 41 years old and he would be a man who would never forget the atrocities of the Holocaust nor would he let the world forget. But there was a huge challenge he faced in all of it. Many of the Holocaust survivors and those who were related to them wanted the whole matter to be shrouded in silence because of the anxiety, embarrassment, and guilt that they shared because of their involvement in it.

For Wiesenthal the event was very emotional. In fact, he wrote, “As I followed the box of ashes, I remembered my family members, my friends, and companions, and all those who paid with their lives for the one single sin—being born Jewish. I looked at the box, and I saw my mother’s face the way it looked the last time I saw her on that fateful day when I left home in the morning for forced labor outside the ghetto and I did not know that I would not see her when I returned in the evening, nor ever again.” He would lose a total of 89 relatives in the Holocaust.

When Wiesenthal undertook the plans for the event it was just the tip of the iceberg for what he had in mind. He wanted a huge structure to be built in honor of those who had died. He wanted it to be an exact replica of the Mauthausen camp that had incarcerated and then killed untold numbers of Jews in the Holocaust. But there was even something more that was driving him and that was the capture and imprisonment of the remaining Nazis still alive who had been involved in the Holocaust.

He became a tireless warrior against evil and a key figure in human rights events that would push him to world-wide recognition before he passed away in 2005 at the age of 96. He was a man who sparked the imagination of the Jews toward the capture of the killers. In the early days, he basically was a one man show and many refused to help him. However, he gave speeches that troubled their conscience, stirred their soul, and inspired a sense of justice in them. Initially as a lone Jew he took it on himself to make sure that even the last of the Nazis would not die free or at least free of anxiety because he, Jew Wiesenthal, would not rest until they were captured. He had endured Mauthausen and when he was released he had been a walking skeleton weighing 97 pounds. When he died there were 300,000 records in hundreds of files that were stored in a small apartment that he and his wife lived in. He worked almost his entire life from that small apartment surrounded by high piles of old newspapers and yellowing index cards that contained handwritten notes.

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