They Shall Raise Up the Former Desolations
Tisha B’Av—the 9th of Av—is the most sorrowful day on the Hebrew calendar. On this date, both of Israel’s Temples to Jehovah were destroyed on this date, the first in 586 B.C. and the second in A.D. 70. Other tragedies have also befallen the Jewish people on this date. (1)
Despite the terrible events that have occurred on this day in Jewish history, the mourning associated with Tisha B’Av will not continue indefinitely. Some 2700 years ago, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah relayed an end-times message to Israel with a Messianic prophecy:
ISAIAH 61:1, 3-4
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me . . .
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
And they [Israel] shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.”
God’s promise to restore the land of Israel and regather the Diaspora at the end of the age is happening before our eyes (Ezek. 28:25). The fact that Jewish people continue to return to the land suggests that the fulfillment of God’s Messianic promise to Israel is closer than ever.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, suggests that the long associated mourning of Tisha B’Av should instead become, “a day of yearning and anticipatory prayer, especially in light of the rebirth of the State of Israel.” (2)
Today, more than one-third of the world’s Jewish population lives in Israel. The ancient cities, towns and villages are being rebuilt. Under the tender care of God’s Chosen People, the land is thriving and producing abundantly.
Sadly, life for Jewish Israelis is not without hardship as families and communities exist in a hostile environment surrounded by enemies committed to death and destruction. For the past three months, Israel has been targeted with incessant arson attacks—where incendiary kites, balloons and even birds—have ignited 1,000 fires that burned more than 8,000 acres of farmland and forests. At the same time over the past 8 weeks, more than 280 rocket attacks from Gaza and Syria have been a frightening reality for Israeli families under Red Alert.
But, those provocations will not continue indefinitely. When Messiah establishes His Messianic Kingdom, the literal fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel will be complete and the mourning associated with Tisha B’Av will no longer be relevant.
The prophet Zechariah prophesied that during the Messianic Kingdom the seasons of fasting and mourning associated with the Hebrew calendar, ”Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts (Zech. 8:19). The hope embodied in the Messianic promise is not an optimistic cliché like, “There’s a new day coming,” or “Our best days are still ahead.”
Israel is rebuilding the old ruins and raising up what was formerly desolate. Israel is repairing the ruined cities that lay desolate for generations. Israel is fulfilling prophecy!
God’s promise specifically guarantees that Messiah will establish His throne in Jerusalem (Zech. 8:3).
Yes, the Messianic Temple will be built (Zech. 6:12-13). The Messianic Kingdom will commence ushering in a millennium of peace and prosperity for not just the Jewish people, but for the whole world (Rev. 20:2-7)!
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. In his work as Executive Director of Olive Tree Alliance, Inc., Rev. McCracken authentically communicates biblical truth making his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2018, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added).
1) “Tisha B’Av: Time to Stop Mourning!, Israel Today online, July 20, 2010.