Recently, I watched The Zookeeper’s Wife, a film about how one couple saved almost 300 Jews. Now, I want to share with you the lessons I learned from the movie.
It’s been a while since I watched a war-time movie. Recently, my wife and I decided to watch The Zookeeper’s Wife. At first, I was hesitant to watch another movie since I feel I can do more productive things than sit down and passively look at moving pictures. I don’t even know what the movie is all about.
That’s how I’m out of touch with recent movies.
However, before I know it, the film captivated me. I thought I will just sleep through the movie but The Zookeeper’s Wife was something that is worth watching.
A brief background of The Zookeeper’s Wife
To give you a little background, the movie was based on a true story. It happened in 1939 when the persecution of the Jews was beginning and Poland is about to be taken captured by Germany. The main casts were Dr. Jan Zabinski and his wife, Antonina. They owned the Warsaw zoo.
As the Nazis systematically gathered all the Jews and prepare them for their death, the couple began their mission to save as many people as people. By pretending to gather food for their livestock, they were able to covertly transport Jews from the Warsaw ghetto to their home’s underground area.
The story comes with gripping, compelling, and heart-stopping scenes as they prevent their cover from getting exposed.
Of course, I don’t want to give you a lot of details. If you haven’t watched the movie, maybe you might want to give it a try. You will learn a lot of lessons from the film. However, the movie is rated PG-13. There are some scenes not suitable for very young audiences.
Apart from that, I want to share some of the lessons I learned from the movie, The Zookeeper’s wife.
Lesson no. 1: You wish you will never live through a war
From the movie and other war films I have watched, I always pray not to go through a time of war. This desire has grown even stronger when I finally have my own family. I don’t want to see my wife, son, friends, and loved ones to go through the horrors of war.
Sad to say, many video games and movies now seem to downplay the ugliness of war. Children and adults alike are desensitized to the horrible effects of people hurting and killing each other. Not only that, but other forms of entertainment such as boxing, wrestling, and American football teach people that it is okay to hurt others in the name of fame, money, and fun.
Bible prophecies show us that another global war is going to happen in the future. It is not a matter of if, but when.
We read in Matthew 24:21-22:
“For then there will be GREAT tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved [alive]; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”
For this reason, we must constantly WATCH AND PRAY for us to be counted worthy to escape all these things (Luke 21:36).
[Related Blog: 10 Biblical Keys to Staying Positive in the Midst of Trials]
Lesson no. 2: We are called to do the right thing
Jan and Antonina Zabinski could live a life of comfort and convenience. While the Jews and other people suffer, they can just turn a blind eye and just go on with their normal lives.
However, they didn’t.
The couple initially tried to save one individual, but they know they can do more. The ended up saving almost 300 Jews by the time Poland was liberated from the Nazis.
As Christians, we are called to do the right thing even if it means that we will suffer for it. There will also a time when doing the right thing will cost us our lives.
But when the push comes to shove, talk is cheap. It is easy to talk about what to do, but can we really walk the talk and not just talk the talk?
Personally, I know I am not as strong as those people who tried to make a single life better by risking their lives. But the scripture tells us that God will give us strength when we need it the most. He promised that He will be with us to help us serve as a witness for Him to other people.
We read in Matthew 10:16-20:
“But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER who speaks in you.”
As long as we do the right thing, God will ultimately reward us for our righteous deeds if not during this lifetime, it will surely be in God’s Kingdom.
Lesson no. 3: Why God allows suffering
It’s a difficult question to answer: why does God allow suffering? As I watch the film, I am just moved by how one person can either value or disregard life.
On one end, the couple sees each person’s life as something precious and that should be preserved. On the other, some people look at a person’s life as something insignificant and won’t even think twice before taking it.
In all these suffering during World War II and other horrible world events, where is God? Most people asked the wrong question and therefore, arrived at the wrong answer.
God does have the power to prevent suffering, but in doing so, He is taking away one of our fundamental rights: free will.
If God steps in every time we are about to commit a mistake or a sin, then what would that make of us? We will just become mere robots who follow God will just one push of a button.
God does not want that.
Yes, He has the power to end all suffering at once or even prevent it. However, God has His own perfect timetable. If there’s one Being who is suffering more than any of us, it would be God. He knows every pain and suffering in this world and He is also hurt to see what man has been doing to each other.
Thankfully, we can have the comfort to learn that God will ultimately step in and directly intervene. He will send His Son for the second time, not as a helpless baby in the manger, but a CONQUERING KING who will finally establish God’s kingdom here on earth.
On that glorious day:
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be NO more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, FOR THE FORMER THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY.”
May God speed that day!
If you are looking for a movie worth watching, I recommend The Zookeeper’s Wife. However, let me tell you right off the bat, the movie isn’t perfect. There are scenes that I believe could have been better off deleted and it isn’t suitable for children.
The Zookeeper’s Wife Film was adapted from this book. Like the movie, it is also worth reading. It obtained 3.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon with over 1,800 customers.
The Zookeeper’s Wife teaches us valuable lessons on what happens when people forget their God and do what seems right in their own eyes. It teaches us to stand up for what is right no matter what. Finally, it helps us to yearn and look forward to God’s Kingdom to be established here on earth.