Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Day of Mourning

This is an updated post from last year at this time that I wrote concerning the Fast Day in Israel called Tisha Be-Av. As you will read, many feel there are reasons to be watching on this particular day for something to occur in the Middle East concerning the nation of Israel. I also would ask for your prayers as I have a speaking engagement this week on the subject of God's plans for Israel.

Many are familiar with the seven feast days appointed by God for the children of Israel to observe, but not all are aware that He also created four days of fasting to commemorate tragedies that occurred during Israels' history.

"Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'The fast of the fourth [month], The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.' Zecharaiah 8:19 NKJV

Zechariah goes on to say that when the Messiah comes, these fast days will become days of celebration and feasting, but for now they are still days of mourning.

The fast of the fourth remembers the day that Moses came down from the mountain to find the children of Israel worshiping the golden calf and then broke the tablets God had given him. The seventh commemorates the assassination of the governor appointed by Nebuchadnezzar to govern the Jews left behind in Israel after the destruction of the temple. The tenth recalls the day that Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to the city of Jerusalem. But it is the fifth fast, which occurs on the ninth of Av on the Jewish calendar that I would like to explore today.

Called Tisha Be-Av, this day of mourning and fasting reminds Israel of the day that the temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Jews taken back to Babylon in captivity. This day has become, however, one of the most significant days in Israel's history due to the astonishing "coincidence" of numerous national disasters occurring on this exact day since it's inception. These are:

1312 BC Spies return from 40 days in Israel with evil reports of the Land of
Israel. Jewish people cry in despair, give up hope of entering the Land of

587 BC Destruction of First Temple by the Babylonians, under Nebuchadnezar. About
100000 Jews killed during invasion. Exile of remaining tribes in southern
kingdom to Babylon and Persia.

70AD Destruction of Second Temple by Romans, under Titus. Over 2,500,000 Jews die as a
result of war, famine and disease. Over 1,000,000 Jews exiled to all parts
of the Roman Empire. Over 100,000 Jews sold as slaves by Romans.
Jews killed and tortured in gladiatorial "games" and pagan celebrations.

71AD Turnus Rufus plows site of Temple. Romans build pagan city of Aelia Capitolina
on site of Jerusalem.

135AD Bar Kochba revolt crushed. Betar destroyed - over 100,00 killed.

1095AD First Crusade declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews killed in first month of
Crusade. Crusades bring death and destruction to thousands of Jews, totally
obliterate many communities in Rhineland and France.

1290AD Expulsion of Jews from England, accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books
and property.

1492AD Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminates in the expulsion of the Jews from
the Iberian Peninsula. King Ferdinand of Spain issued the expulsion decree,
setting Tisha B'Av as the final date by which not a single Jew would be allowed
to walk on Spanish soil. Families separated, many die by drowning, massive loss
of property. With funds provided by Ferdinand, Christopher Columbus, a Messianic
Jew, sets sail to locate the land which will become a Jewish refuge.

1914AD Britain and Russia declare war on Germany. First World War begins. First World
War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and Holocaust. 75% of
all Jews in war zones. Jews in armies of all sides - 120,000 Jewish casualties
in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following war in Hungary, Ukraine,
Poland and Russia.

1942AD Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp begin.

1989AD Iraq walks out of talks with Kuwait.

1994AD The deadly bombing the building of the AMIA (the Jewish community center in
Buenos Aires, Argentina) which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.

1990AD The First Gulf War begins in and as a result Saddam Hussein launches missiles
into Israel

Obviously more than just coincidence, one can't help but wonder what the future holds for Israel on this date? We know that the Bible tells us of many prophetic events yet to occur in Israel, most of which could be classified "judgmental" in nature. By far the most significant would be the start of the Seventieth Week of Daniel, otherwise known as the tribulation. The start of this period of time would obviously be considered a time of mourning in Israel, much as the Babylonian Captivity (also a judgment by God for their disobedience) was.

The Ninth of Av will occur this week on July 20. With all that seems to be happening in the world today, one can't help but wonder if we should pay special attention to these dates to see if God will again allow something to happen in Israel just as He has done in the past?

Keep watching.