A Word For Tisha b'Av
Tonight at sunset the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av begins, the date on the Hebrew calendar when the first Jewish Temple was destroyed, only to be repeated many years later when the second Temple was destroyed on the very same date, and this time the Jewish people were scattered throughout the world. Here is a word for Tisha b’Av: ------------------------------------------ Is it to mourn a city and a Temple? Or is it to mourn their rejection of their God? Are we to weep for them? Or do we weep for God …who cried to them with such offers of grace and forgiveness, so many times, pleading with them not to go into destruction? We see the record of God pleading with them through the prophets over and over and over again. But they turned a deaf ear to him. Concerning the destruction of the first Temple, it was foretold: “Thus says the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring upon this city and upon all her towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it, BECAUSE they have hardened their necks, that they might not hear my words.” Jeremiah 19:15 "And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbor, 'Why has the Lord done thus to this great city?' Then they shall answer, 'BECAUSE they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God…'” Jeremiah 22:8-9 In 586 BC they lost their city and the first Temple BECAUSE they rejected their God and persisted in great sin. They were taken in captivity to Babylon and would remain there for 70 years. At the end of 70 years they were brought back to Jerusalem and they rebuilt their city and the Temple. Many years later, before the destruction of the second Temple they were forewarned: “And when Jesus was come near, he beheld the city and WEPT over it, saying: 'If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which pertain unto your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall cast a trench around you, and compass you around, and keep you in on every side; and shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another, BECAUSE you knew not the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:41-44 This was fulfilled in 70 AD when for the second time, they lost their city Jerusalem and their Temple BECAUSE they rejected God's Son – his Son who had spent more than three years healing them, restoring their sight, casting out their demons, raising their dead. But they rejected the Messiah. And they lost their city and their Temple which were destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans, and the surviving Jews were scattered to all the nations on the earth. Shall we not, therefore, weep for their God who offered them all things and was rejected? It is not that they were forsaken… HE was forsaken. God takes no pleasure in judgment; but after many, many warnings have gone out - there comes a point when the time of mercy expires, and judgment must fall. Tisha b'Av should be a warning to all nations: turn back to God. The time of mercy will soon to come to an end. Many are bringing this message. Few are listening.