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258. The Lesson of Tisha B’Av

This issue looks at the lesson of Tisha B’Av.SINCE YOU ASKED
The eleventh month on the Hebrew calendar is the month of Av. The 9th day of this month (usually in July or August) holds special significance since it marks the date of the most tragic events in Jewish history. Tisha B’Av has become a watchword representing tragedy, destruction, expulsion and death. It is commemorated with solemn prayers, mourning, and contemplation. Here are some of the tragic events that occurred on the same calendar day:
 
The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians on the 9th of Av in 586 B.C. An estimated quarter of a million Jews were slaughtered.
 
The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans on the 9th of Av in 70 A.D. resulting in worldwide dispersion of the Jews.
 
The Jews were driven from England on the 9th of Av in 1290 A.D. Their return came 400 years later.
 
The 9th of Av in 1492 was the deadline King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella set for the Jews to leave Spain or be executed.
 
While not a Jewish event, World War I, which paved the way for the upheavals that led to the Holocaust, began on the 9th of Av.

AS I SEE IT
Since God controls history, He will use every tragic event (in our lives as well as Israel’s history) to ultimately produce something good. Since goodness is one of his attributes, everything He does is good (even if we can’t see it). The destruction of the First Temple resulted in the prophecies of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, which are unfolding before our eyes more than 2500 years later. The Book of Lamentations, believed to have been written by Jeremiah who witnessed the Temple’s destruction, is typically read on the 9th of Av. We have been blessed by the comforting words of the book as God answers those throughout the ages who have cried out for answers in times of tragedy. The great hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness” was a direct result of verse 3:22.
 
With the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. came the end of the sacrificial system. While the Jews saw it as a horrible tragedy, God saw it as a necessary transition to the fulfillment of that system in the person of Yeshua. The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 led several Jewish businessmen to finance an upcoming journey by an Italian in hopes of finding somewhere on earth where the Jews could live in peace. The result was the discovery of America. The Holocaust, as horrible as it was, paved the way for the formation of the state of Israel.
 
The history of Israel is one of death and resurrection. It is a perfect illustration of John 12:24
 
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
 
Every 9th of Av must be coupled with a “but God.” He has promised never to abandon Israel or any of His children. Indeed, His mercies are new every morning.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
To be Politically Correct:
You’re not late. You have a “rescheduled arrival time.”

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