Today I’m going to write about someone very close to my heart. I never had the chance to meet her in person, but I felt like I met her “in spirit”. I’ve read her book The Hiding Place, as well as other books she’s written. It is difficult to read her books without seeing straight into the heart of Corrie Ten Boom- what she loved, believed and cherished. I am posting this on March 1, one day after the anniversary of when Corrie and her family were arrested for hiding Jewish people in a hidden hole in their wall. This was on February 28, 1944. It is also the Jewish holiday known as Purim. In the Bible the story of Esther highlights how the evil Haman tried to annihilate every last Jew in the kingdom of Persia. But Queen Esther rose to the occasion and stepped in “for such a time as this”, saving her people from extermination. The Bible states in the book of Esther that Purim is to be celebrated every year at the appointed time– Adar 14, 15 on the Hebrew calendar- which on our calendar this year is sundown on February 28- March 2. I think it is appropriate to write about Corrie as she too stepped in “for such a time as this” during World War 2. Like Queen Esther, she risked her life to save the Jewish people.
Her story is nothing short of miraculous. A humble, middle aged woman living in the Netherlands saves the lives of hundreds of Jewish people in the midst of World War 2. Her father, Casper Ten Boom, did not think twice when it came to risking his life (and his family’s lives) to hide Jewish people from the Nazis. He said, “In this household, God’s people are always welcome.” Thus began the creation of the hiding place in the Ten Boom’s home. Corrie, Casper, along with her sisters became “Keepers of the Angels’ Den.” A hole was cut in the wall of Corrie’s bedroom, then cleverly disguised so it would not be detected. Behind that hole in the wall was a secret hiding place for up to eight people. The entire family practiced drills using a warning bell that was hidden. This way, when real Nazis showed up they would be able to hide in a moment’s notice. They practiced at all hours of the day and night, knowing the Nazis could show up any time to search their house. They were successful for a long time. They saved hundreds of lives. Until that fateful day on February 28, 1944 when the entire family was arrested by the Nazis. An informant had told the Nazis the Ten Booms were hiding Jews. They raided the house and arrested everyone. They were in the middle of doing a prayer for Jerusalem. (They regularly engaged in praying for Jerusalem and scheduled times to do this) Amazingly, the Nazis did not find the hiding place and the Jewish people still hiding behind the wall (the hiding place) were safe. They did, however, find extra ration cards and resistance materials. That was enough to arrest them.
The entire family was taken to prison. Corrie’s father died ten days after arriving. Corrie and her sister Betsie were placed in several different concentration camps where they had to face Hell on Earth! Seriously I cannot believe the horrible conditions they endured. They were treated like animals by guards who had zero compassion. They were eaten alive by fleas, ticks and all sorts of vermin. They had to walk through excrement and sleep with blankets that smelled like urine. They were beaten, spat on and made to freeze to death. They worked grueling hours and in return received rotten food. They saw people suffer from disease, starvation, and exposure. They witnessed shootings and were very aware of those perishing in gas chambers. Worse yet, Corrie had to see her beloved sister starve to death and perish in front of her very eyes.
But there is something amazing about this story that strikes the heart of all who read it. Even in the midst of horrific treatment and obstacles, Corrie and Betsie found refuge- a hiding place– in Jesus. They lost everything, but they had him. Corrie’s favorite verse was Psalm 119:114- “You are my hiding place and my shield: I hope in your word.” She also loved Psalm 91 and often quoted, “He who dwells in the secret place of the most high shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, he is my refuge and fortress: my God; in him I will trust.” She prayed this psalm during her arrest and in the camps. These prayers reference the hiding place, which is Jesus.
During her time in the concentration camp, she referred to Jesus as her hiding place and refuge. She created a hiding place for the Jews in her own home, but now, here in this concentration camp, God himself was her hiding place. Only it wasn’t in a wall- it was in her heart.
When I was in the process of writing Blink: A Story about the Rapture, something interesting happened. I had been studying information about the rapture and I kept hearing the words “hiding place” through the Holy Spirit. At first I thought, “what is that all about?” I kept praying about it and then I realized it was the book, The Hiding Place. I read the book years ago but had forgotten all about it. I thought, maybe I’m supposed to read it again. So, I read it once more. As I reread it, a few things kept resonating in my mind. Corrie hid the Jewish people in the wall. In the hiding place in the wall they were safe from the Nazis. Safe from the chaos of the war. They were hidden from danger. Then, something clicked. When the rapture occurs the Bride will be taken to heaven- hidden from the tribulation. Hidden from danger. Hidden from chaos. I started making connections.
Not long after reading the Hiding Place book, I started researching Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Feast of Trumpets. This feast is in the Bible and is considered a holy convocation for the Lord’s people. It’s a time to meet with him, or an appointment. Back in ancient Israel, this feast was kept and celebrated, along with the other six feasts of the Lord such as Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits (we know this as Easter), Pentecost, Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles).
Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) is associated with the trumpet, or the the shofar. During this feast the Israelites were commanded to sound the trumpet. It is traditional on Rosh Hashanah for the trumpet to be blown 100 times. The last sound made on the trumpet (shofar) is called the LAST TRUMP. Sound familiar? It should…………here’s a verse to jog your memory………….
“In a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at THE LAST TRUMPET. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” This is from 1 Corinthians 15:52. This verse is describing the rapture. Here’s another one: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. That verse is also describing the rapture. The trumpet is an integral part of this event. The Feast of Trumpets is also all about the trumpet. By the way, the trumpet had many uses in the Bible. It was used as a warning to the people. It was used to remind people to turn to God and repent. It was used as a reminder of Abraham and Isaac and the sacrifice God made (this also points to Jesus because this foreshadowed Christ’s death/resurrection). It was a reminder of God’s mercy. The shofar (trumpet) was blown when God gave the Ten Commandments. Also, God’s voice and Jesus’ voice are described as sounding like a trumpet! And don’t get me started with Revelation- trumpets are everywhere in that book! But here’s my favorite- the trumpet was used to GATHER THE PEOPLE TOGETHER. I know I can’t wait for that big GATHERING in the sky one day! The trumpet isn’t a random thing- it has everything to do with God and his mercy for us. (If you want to know more about the Feast of Trumpets check out my blog post titled- Rosh Hashanah )
Am I saying Jesus will return on the Feast of Trumpets? No, I don’t predict dates or times. The Bible says we do not know the exact day or hour. Even if I wanted to say he would return on the Feast of Trumpets I couldn’t pin a date down because the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) occurs EVERY YEAR ON THE DESIGNATED DATE ON THE HEBREW CALENDAR. For example, Christmas occurs every year on December 25. Well, Rosh Hashanah occurs on Tishri 1 every year on the Hebrew calendar. (On the Gregorian calendar that means it usually falls in September/October each year. But that date varies on our calendar because our calendar is a Sun calendar. ) The day cannot be predicted because it could be any Rosh Hashanah in the future. Also, the feast occurs over a period of TWO DAYS. This is because the feast occurs on a new moon. It is very difficult to detect when the new moon will be sighted because it looks like a tiny sliver of a crescent. Rosh Hashanah cannot start until the moon appears. Back in ancient Israel the feast was also known as, “the feast to which no one knew the day or the hour.” Why?- because the feast could not start until the moon was sighted by at least two witnesses. These witnesses had to alert the Jewish Sanhedrin that the moon had been seen so the feast could begin. The problem with this is that sometimes the moon was clouded over and it wasn’t visible yet. Other times weather interfered. Also, sometimes the message got delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. For this reason the feast (appointment with God) was celebrated for a period of two days. This tradition continues to this day. I was amazed to find out that Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets) is also called THE HIDDEN DAY for the same reasons I mentioned above. The day of its arrival was somewhat hidden because of the new moon being barely detectable.
I thought it was more than a coincidence that I had just read the Hiding Place and then I find out the Feast of Trumpets is called THE HIDDEN DAY. Just so you know, Jesus fulfilled all of the Spring feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost on the exact day of the feasts. These feasts are in the Bible (Leviticus 23) and had been celebrated by the Jews long before Jesus ever came. When Jesus died on the cross he died on Passover! He was lying in the tomb during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He rose from the dead on First Fruits (you probably say Easter but that’s not what the Bible calls it- It’s real name is First Fruits. The name Easter comes from the pagan goddess Eostre and she is a fertility goddess! I personally prefer saying Resurrection Day or First Fruits! ) On the Feast of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came to Jerusalem and became part of believers in Christ. So all these feasts were fulfilled by Christ. The Jewish people were essentially having a dress rehearsal for all those years and then one day the real thing- JESUS CHRIST- fulfilled every feast down to every tradition they had practiced!
The only feasts Christ still has to fulfill are: Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), Day of Atonement (also known as Yom Kippur) and Sukkoth (also called the Feast of Tabernacles). Keep in mind these feasts are in the Bible in Leviticus 23. How and when he will fulfill them we do not know. But, I will say the Feast of Trumpets sounds a lot like the rapture. I’ve only given you a few details about the feast but if you were to research it, you would certainly see a huge parallel. Again, I’m not saying he’s returning on the Feast of Trumpets, but I love celebrating the feast because it is in the Bible and it points to things I already see in Christ. And you never know…………. LOL…….but that’s up to God!!!
Now that I’ve explained the Feast of Trumpets as being the Hidden Day, let me get back to Corrie Ten Boom. The day after I learned about the Feast of Trumpets being called the Hidden Day I just happened to be taking my son to meet a new doctor. He needed to get his tonsils out and we were going to a new office to consult with a specialist. That morning before I left something made me grab The Hiding Place book by Corrie Ten Boom. I immediately opened to the picture that showed the hole in the wall in Corrie’s room. I stared at the picture and in my head I heard, “The Lord has a hiding place for his people in heaven. His people will be hidden in the time of trouble.” I took a mental note of it and then I left for the doctor’s appointment.
When I got to the doctor’s appointment I was sitting in the waiting area, just chilling out. I looked to my right and I had to do a double take. There was a brick wall and it had a fake hole in it ! It looked similar to the hole in the wall in the book The Hiding Place. I was so stunned I took a picture. If I hadn’t just looked at the photo in the book before I left I wouldn’t have been so shocked. I realized that could not be a coincidence. But, it gets better. My son and I eventually went back to meet the new doctor. I noticed his accent right away and asked where he was from. He said he was Jewish and had lived in Israel most of his life. His first name was Isaac. I immediately thought of Corrie Ten Boom and the name Isaac reminded me of the ram’s horn, or trumpet. The fact that he was from Israel blew my mind as well.
Corrie Ten Boom came from a family of WATCHMAKERS. Corrie became the first female licensed watchmaker in all of Holland. As a follower of Christ, she watched for opportunities to help God’s chosen people, the Jews. It reminds me of the story of Esther, where Esther risked her life to help the Jewish people. The evil villian in the story who tries to wipe out the Jewish people is Haman. Have you ever heard of the terrorist faction called Hamas? Does that name sound familiar? It should because it is the same family line of evil that tried to wipe out the Jews in Esther’s day. Hamas’ main goal (and their manifesto) says to kill Jewish people! Rockets are fired into Israel daily. The spirit of Haman is alive and well. But, where are all the Esthers and Corrie Ten Booms out there? Who is willing to stand up for the Jewish people in this day and age? Corrie Ten Boom and her family had a long running tradition of praying for the peace of Jerusalem. Christians should be praying for this as well. I’m not talking about a peace plan where land is divided up! Jesus is the only hope for peace! I am glad the United States has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but we need to pray our nation does not broker any land deals !! The Word says Jerusalem is engraved on the palms of God’s hands!!!! The Bible says there will be no peace until Jesus Christ comes and sets things straight. Man cannot be a real estate broker and try to carve up Israel’s land. That will not bring peace- only the Prince of Peace can do this!
In the Bible it says “For he himself is our peace, who tore down the dividing WALL between Jew and Gentile.” Ephesians 2:14. Jesus is our only hope for peace! Do you see the word WALL? I can picture the wall in Corrie Ten Boom’s bedroom- the HIDING PLACE for God’s people. Our only refuge- our only HIDING PLACE is in him. Many people look to WALL street and border WALLS to protect them from the coming storm. This will not ultimately save us. Money can be lost and physical walls crumble.!! Jerusalem cannot be divided. Trust me on that. A peace plan involving dividing Jerusalem will not bring peace. It will bring God’s swift anger.
Jerusalem is the watch! It is the timepiece! To understand end time prophecy you have to look at Jerusalem. Corrie Ten Boom and her family knew this early on. They knew they were on the same branch of the olive tree with the Jews. Corrie’s first name is Cornelia- She was named after the first GENTILE converted in the Bible. His name was Cornelius. It was a Jew who shared the gospel with Cornelius. Corrie’s last name is Boom. This word means TREE. Jesus Christ died on a tree and we are branches on that tree, called to share the gospel with everyone- but especially our Jewish brethren!!! Some people have forgotten the Jews because they believe they rejected Christ, therefore they are not important. The Bible says the exact opposite. It says we are to love our Jewish brethren, present the gospel to them and pray for their salvation. In fact, the Bible is VERY CLEAR that there is a remnant that will be spared. Jesus will return to Jerusalem and he will save his Jewish brethren. Their land and their lives will be redeemed. The Bible lays this all out. As Christians we are the Esthers and Corries the world needs to bring God’s plan to fruition. We fight for their lives and their land through prayer, sacrifice and even our lives if we have too. Maybe I sound zealous, but I know I am in a royal position. Queen Esther was put into a royal position by the hand of God. It was only in this position that she had enough leverage to save the entire race of her people. Do you know the Bible says as followers of Christ we are in a ROYAL position. We are going to inherit a KINGDOM with Christ. There’s a famous quote in the story of Esther I want to share. It is spoken by Esther’s cousin, Mordechai. He is pleading with Esther to talk to the king about what Haman has planned for the Jews. He is asking her to speak to the King and stand up for her people. If not, they will be annihilated. This is certainly a risk for her because unless she is summoned she is not allowed to appear before the King. The penalty could be death. Nonetheless Mordechai says this:
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
As Christians we have been put in a royal position. We are co heirs with Christ, bound for an everlasting kingdom in heaven. But, what about God’s ancient people the Jews? Do you really think God would forget them? Could a mother forget her child? Could a heavenly father reject his children? Of course not! Yes, a large part of the Jewish population has not accepted Christ. But redemption is coming. As the Hamans of the world continue their plots, God has a much bigger plan to overthrow their evil. Until then we are here for such a time as this. The verse I just quoted is from Esther 4:14. It makes me think of Titanic- which hit an iceberg on 4-14 (April 14). If we are not on board with God’s plan we are as good as a sinking ship. The United States is called for “such a time as this.” We are not called to ask Israel to divide land ——we are called to God’s plan.
When the 9-11 terror attacks happened, the U.S. saw what evil can do. Israel sees this evil everyday. Can you imagine hearing warning sirens as you try to sleep at night? Can you imagine running to a bomb shelter every few days? This is Israel’s reality, but many people just don’t seem to know or care.
Did you know that Corrie Ten Boom was born on April 15 and died on April 15? She was born and died on the same date. In Jewish tradition, a person is considered blessed if this happens to them. Her birthday also lines up with Titanic’s sinking- Titanic sank April 15, 1912. Was Corrie on the Titanic? No. Would she have tried to save people on the Titanic? I am positive. In fact I doubt she would have jumped into a lifeboat. That’s not the kind of person she was. She was a servant and the kind of person who would lay her life down for others. She didn’t take the easy way out. Her father was just as amazing. At one point the Nazis were going to release him because he was a frail old man. They simply told him not to cause any more trouble. They told him not to take in more Jewish people. They asked him if he could do this. He replied,”If I go home today, tomorrow I will open my door to anyone who knocks for help.” The Nazis did not like that answer and reminded him he could die for helping Jews. His response was, “What an honor to give my life for God’s ancient people, the Jews.”
And that is what I call remarkable………….
By the way, Corrie was 91 years old when she died. Her favorite psalm was PSALM 91, which talks about God being our Hiding Place when we are in trouble. Think about that…………….
- The United States is in a royal position. We are the wealthiest nation in the world, founded on Christian principles. If we do not help Israel and the Jewish people, help may come from another source, but our nation will perish. For we have been called by God for “such a time as this .”
Rosh Hashanah dates for 2018: Begins at sundown
on September 9 and ends in the evening on September 11 -(9-11)
Rosh Hashanah 2019- Begins at sundown September 29 and ends in the evening on October 1
Above is a link to a virtual tour of the Corrie Ten BoomMuseum in Holland