“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.”
According to the Jewish calendar, next Thursday falls on the 9th of the biblical month of Av. It is a day that observes the traditions of mourning because it commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples, both destroyed on this date. Many other tragedies occurred on this day throughout Jewish history, the first tragedy was the bad report the ten spies brought back to the Israelites resulting in God decreeing that that generation would not enter the Promised Land. See Numbers 13-14.
Like all Jews, Jesus loved the temple, he honoured it with his presence and protected its purpose. He drove out the money changers and sellers of livestock because they had contaminated the sanctity of the temple by making it into a house of merchandise, an opinion shared by many at that time (John 14:14-17). He quoted Isaiah 56:7 and Jeremiah 7:11 to remind them that God’s House “…shall be called a House of Prayer…”. His disciples noted his ‘zeal for the temple’ like the psalmist in Psalm 69:9. And no wonder – the Temple was built for: worship, fellowship, a place to meet God on His ‘appointment’ days, a place of repentance. It spoke of the Presence of God, His grace and redemption and represented His heavenly throne. On it, God placed His Name (1 Kings 8:29).
On the 9th Av, the sad book of Lamentations is read. This Book describes the utter loss, the mocking of nations, the sense of rejection and abandonment by God. However, as quoted above it also says “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end…” Despite the work of their enemies, restoration is promised to the Jewish nation, to Israel, and indeed to the world.
A lesson we can personally lay hold of, is that in our lowest times we have a hope that we are not abandoned. Hebrew 3:6, “But Messiah is faithful as a Son over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end.”
From the nations, we have been called to stand with Israel, to be a comfort to her. Click the link below to read more.
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ICEJ Australia National Director