Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Destruction and Restoration

Today, the 17th of Tammuz, marks the start of the Jewish fast/mourning period called Tisha B'Av. During the next three weeks, Jews will mourn the destruction of the temple yet look forward to its restoration. Today, the first day of Tisha B'Av, commemorates multiple tragic happenings in Israel. This is the day that Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the Ten Commandments, and broke them into pieces when he saw the Israelites worshipping the golden calf. This event is found in Exodus 32:

1Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."... 7 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves8 They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’”...19 It came about, as soon as Moses came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf which they had made and burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.... 25 Now when Moses saw that the people were out of control—for Aaron had let them get out of control to be a derision among their enemies— 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him. 27 He said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 Then Moses said, “Dedicate yourselves today to the LORD—for every man has been against his son and against his brother—in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today.”

Notice in verse 20, the scripture says Moses made the Israelites drink their golden calf. What a picture of the poison that is our sin and idolatry! Then, the sin was punished. In verse 28 we see that "about 3,000 men of the people fell that day." 

Today, on the 17th of Tammuz, let us be thankful for the Messiah's death and resurrection, which canceled our debt! Let us pray that the Jews would see Yeshua as the true Messiah, and know that their body is the temple of God! After reading Exodus 32, there is so much hope in Acts 2:

22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles andwonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands ofgodless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power....36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesuswhom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. 

Three thousand souls. What was lost in Exodus 32 was redeemed through Christ in Acts 2! The Israelites drank the golden calf, and "only Christ's pure blood can flush the poison out!" 

This is one of my favorite songs, and it fits so perfectly with today's fast. 

For more information about Tisha B'Av and the three weeks of fasting/mourning, click HERE.


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