They Shall Raise Up the Former Desolations
Tisha B’Av, which is the 9th of Av—that falls from sunset to sunset July 17 – 18, 2021—is a sorrowful day on the Hebrew calendar. 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 Tisha B’Av.
Despite the tragic events in Jewish history, the mourning associated with Tisha B’Av will not continue indefinitely. Some 2700 years ago, Isaiah relayed an endtimes message to Israel with a Messianic prophecy.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
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 shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner
Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.
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.
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. The nation of Israel is a visible demonstration of the veracity of Scripture.
The prophet Zechariah foresaw 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). Hope embodied in the Messianic promise is more than the platitude, Our best days are still ahead.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, former director of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, advises that, “Tisha B’Av is not about just mourning, it is about acting to bring the Holy Temple back to the world – a ‘House of prayer for all nations’” (1) People—who understand prophecy—grasp that expectancy for a temple in Jerusalem is another indicator that the ultimate fulfillment of God’s Messianic promise to Israel is near.
King David’s purchase of the threshing floor of Araunah on Mount Moriah—where both Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples once stood—establishes the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. God’s purpose for the temple in Jerusalem did not end with ancient history.
During the Messianic Kingdom, the Temple Mount, the very site David purchased from Araunah, will be the center of worship for the whole world. Isaiah prophesied about that time.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.
Many people shall come and say,
“Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
He will teach us His ways,
And we shall walk in His paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
God’s promise specifically guarantees that Messiah will establish His throne in Jerusalem (Zech. 8:3).
The Messianic Temple will be built, but not before fulfillment of the time of Jacob’s trouble predicted by Jeremiah (Jer. 30:4-10 cf. Zech. 6:12-13). A false messiah-like leader will emerge during Jacob’s trouble to rebuild a temple as prophesied by Daniel (Dan. 9:27). This pseudo-messiah who desecrates temple worship with his own image will be unmasked as an imposter as he turns on God’s Chosen People (Dan. 11:31-45; 12:11-13 cf. Rev. 19:20).
The true Messianic Kingdom will follow ushering in a millennium of peace and prosperity for not just the Jewish people, but for the whole world (Dan. 7:13-14).
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. In the meantime, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps. 122:6).
1) By Tzvi Joffre, Temple Institute encourages Jews to hope for Third Temple in new video, The Jerusalem Post online, August 7, 2019.
1) Second Temple Model on the Israel Museum Campus, Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo credit: Pixabay/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright 2019 © Charles E. McCracken, devotional comments only, updated. Repost/Reprint with permission. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.