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Removing the Blinders

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Tenth of Av




The Hebrew month of Av is the 5th month on the Biblical calendar.

The 9th of Av (Tisha B'Av) is known around the world as a historical time of great tragedy for the Jewish people. It was the day the ten men gave a bad report to Moses and God delayed entry to the Promised Land for 40 years.

Tisha B'Av is the day that marks the Babylonian destruction of the Temple that Solomon built and the day that the Roman burned and destroyed the restored Temple 500 years later.

Seventy-two years ago on the 9th of Av (August 2, 1941) the Nazi Party declared and unleashed evil calling it the final solution through SS commander Heinrich Himmler as Hitler's Holocaust began, but in God's incredible providence blessing came after unspeakable tragedy.

A tiny nation called Israel was reborn in a day after horrible labor and pain that answered Isaiah's 2,700 year old prophetic question:
"Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children." Isaiah 66:8 NIV
That blessed moment was May 14, 1948. It followed great tragedy.

Yeshua prophesied of this day when He declared: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

During the forty years of wandering that followed the bad report, Joshua, led Israel and the sjourners with them into the Promised Land. Only two survived, Joshua whose Hebrew name Yehoshua means (The Lord is Salvation) from the family tribe of Ephraim and Caleb, a descendant of Judah.

Leading up to the fast day of the 9th of Av, are the "weeks of mourning" that end with a fast of mourning on Tisha B’av butthe 10th day of Av follows.

According to the tradition stated in Talmud in Taanit 29a the Temple was destroyed on the 9th of Av, and according to the historian Josephus in his account "War of the Jews" the destruction ended on the 10th of Av.

The destruction began on the 7th day of Av as the Old City walls were torn down and Jerusalem was set on fire by the Legions of Rome.

The Temple's fire and destruction ended on the 10th of Av.

It's an incomprehensible mystery, but the time following grave tragedy can become a time of comfort. In fact, the weekly Sabbath immediately following Tisha B'Av is called "The Sabbath of Comfort."

Ezekiel has something to say about this as the prophet recounts what he was told on the 10th day of Av.

It was on this very day...
In the seventh year, in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD, and sat before me. 
And the word of the LORD came to me:

Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD, Is it to inquire of me that you come? As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you.

Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Let them know the abominations of their fathers, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am the LORD your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands.

And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me and were not willing to listen to me. None of them cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.

Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.

So I led them out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.

I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them.

But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned.

Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them in the wilderness, to make a full end of them. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land that I had given them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands, because they rejected my rules and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols.

Nevertheless, my eye spared them, and I did not destroy them or make a full end of them in the wilderness. And I said to their children in the wilderness, Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor keep their rules, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and be careful to obey my rules, and keep my Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.

But the children rebelled against me. They did not walk in my statutes and were not careful to obey my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; they profaned my Sabbaths.

Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand and acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out.

Moreover, I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them through the countries, because they had not obeyed my rules, but had rejected my statutes and profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were set on their fathers' idols.

Moreover, I gave them statutes that were not good and rules by which they could not have life, and I defiled them through their very gifts in their offering up all their firstborn, that I might devastate them. I did it that they might know that I am the LORD.

Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: In this also your fathers blasphemed me, by dealing treacherously with me. For when I had brought them into the land that I swore to give them, then wherever they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there they sent up their pleasing aromas, and there they poured out their drink offerings. I said to them, What is the high place to which you go? So its name is called Bamah to this day.

Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Will you defile yourselves after the manner of your fathers and go whoring after their detestable things? When you present your gifts and offer up your children in fire, you defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. And shall I be inquired of by you, O house of Israel?

As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I will not be inquired of by you.

What is in your mind shall never happen -- the thought, 'Let us be like the nations, like the tribes of the countries, and worship wood and stone.'

As I live, declares the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out I will be king over you.

I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out.

And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will enter into judgment with you, declares the Lord GOD. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.

I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Israel.

Then you will know that I am the LORD.

As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord GOD: Go serve every one of you his idols, now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred offerings. As a pleasing aroma I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered. And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.

And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers.

And there you shall remember your ways and all your deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I deal with you for my name's sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord GOD.

And the word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, set your face toward the southland; preach against the south, and prophesy against the forest land in the Negeb. Say to the forest of the Negeb, Hear the word of the LORD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you and every dry tree. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from south to north shall be scorched by it. All flesh shall see that I the LORD have kindled it; it shall not be quenched. Ezekiel 20:1-48 ESV

The 10th of Av message is pretty clear. 
The rod is headed our way if we don't repent.


Do you reject God's rules and not walk in His statutes, and profane His Sabbaths?

But there is comfort in the message from Ezekiel if you know that after the 9th of Av:
"And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your fathers."
Isaiah confirms this message as a second witness:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins. 
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 40:1-5
What does this all mean?

It's time to repent. It's time to listen to God. Return to His instruction, honor the bond of God's covenant declared in His Sabbaths because God sanctifies them.

It means we need to know "Who is the One Called Jesus.

You need to know His teaching. It is time to repent and return as Jew and non-Jew as Believers, united in God's covenant word. It is time to ask forgiveness, time to repent, time return, time to hear and do God's word, time to walk in the faith of the Kingdom path.

It means ready your lamp for your assignment as you are called by God's Spirit to be set apart for His service as one in Messiah.

God is a sovereign God. He is the one loving, unchanging God and He has provided a way to offer you His redemption though grace for all. You can receive His gift of life. Consider carefully what your own life consists of, look at it and repent of your sin, ask His forgiveness and accept God's gift of love through Messiah Yeshua. Do it now and open your heart to His instruction manual for living life His way!

Today is the time. If you know you need to get your life right with God and each other, don’t wait for tomorrow, get it right now!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17
And if you have done this, ask God in faith to send His baptism of the Holy Spirit to you so that your life will shine as a witness to others with the love and light of Messiah.

May God Bless as you seek your oil to light a fire pleasing to Him!

Shalom.