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This past week, Israel observed the 9th of Ab. On the Jewish calendar, it is the date of the destruction of both temples, the first in 586 BC, the second in 70 AD. The cause for the destruction of the second temple, given by the sages, is “unjustified hatred,” that is hatred between people, without a cause (which led to unspeakable deeds during the siege of Jerusalem.)
But the scriptures tell me a different story.
Luke 19:41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,
Luke 19:42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Luke 19:43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,
Luke 19:44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Had we known the time of our visitation! He walked among us, and we knew Him not. We did not esteem him and turned our eyes from Him and rejected Him. O’ how tragic for us!
The Point, the Main Point, the Only Point — one can say— is Yeshua! This is our controversy with God, this is our stumbling block, yet He is the Corner Stone of the House of God.
Yeshua was judged by the chief priests and elders on the issue of the destruction of the Temple. See Matt. 26:59-61, and was taunted at the cross for this saying, See Matt. 27:39
Yet He did not say “the temple of God,” but “this temple” meaning His body (alluding to the crucifixion and His resurrection.)
Yet, He IS the Temple of the Living God (See Rev 21:22), And Israel’s future is much more glorious than she can imagine, for her future goes far beyond just another physical temple, but a union with Messiah. See Ezekiel 37:25-28, I especially like the Hebrew of vs. 27, “My dwelling place shall be upon them!
God's goal is to make the earth (the New Earth and New Heaven,) a dwelling place for God with man. One day the whole earth will be God’s dwelling place with His people Psalm 72:19
Yet we are blind, and on this day we felt it more keenly than on other days. For we long for His Glory and Presence.
- We cried out to God to remove this blindness to the real cause of our destruction
- We pressed our Savior to wait no longer for the revelation of Himself to His people.
- We acknowledged the depth of the problem, Luke 13:35
- We asked the Lord to kindle a burning desire in the heart of Israel a burning to know the Truth
- We asked the Lord to pour out His Spirit and open our eyes to see the One Whom We Have Pierced
- We stood on this sure promise: They shall see Me!
- We expressed our faith in His Work and ability to bring the whole nation to a deep conviction of this Loss of all Losses! Of His Son.
- We prayed for the deep conviction that will come upon the nation and the cleansing that will follow Zech. 13:1
- We stood on the promise of Jeremiah 29:13 We prayed for that wholehearted seeking
- We prayed for those in the Land who have heard bits of the gospel, that the Holy Spirit will fan the coals to a full flame of knowledge and of salvation
The Living Temple of God — The Body of Messiah
The Body of Messiah is the embodiment of the dwelling place of God in our nation. We are being built to be a holy dwelling place of God. See Ephesians 2:20-22 We are the House of the Son. Hebrews 3:4-6
For most of us looking at the body of Messiah can be discouraging, we see the need, we see people, we see human natures, we see problems, we see strange teachings, we see flesh. But we were led to look at the builder rather than the building and were greatly encouraged to pray.
- We expressed our faith and trust in His ability to achieve the completion of his building
- We expressed our confidence in His Faithfulness to His building
- We offered ourselves up as stones to be hewed by His chisel (the cross), and to be made fitting stones.
- We prayed that the Body would be built on the Word of God (Eph 2:20)
- We prayed for the Word to rise in His Body (Acts 12:24)
- We prayed for the Body to be built according to the “pattern” (Yeshua the Corner Stone)
- We prayed for the younger generation of believers, who face an onslaught of temptations and information in a way never imagined before.
- We asked God for a profound work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of these young people
- We asked God for conviction, cleansing by the blood of Messiah and for a baptism in the [real] Holy Spirit
- We prayed for the pastors in the Land - Fire, Holiness, anointing to preach the Word, Faith, support, grace, vision, hope, encouragement, prayer-life,
- Some in our group confessed to fitting Yeshua into their life rather than yielding to Him as King and Master. Those in the group that prayed that way committed themselves to follow the Lord wherever He would lead them.
The House of Israel Praying for the leadership and for the elections
In 1973, Moshe Dayan, the then defense minister, was so pessimistic as to the outcome of the Day of Atonement war, that he vocalized his fear that the “Third Temple” – a reference to the State of Israel itself -- was in danger. It was a fear he was to repeat several times in the most difficult hours of the war.” 1
More probably, Dayan meant “the third house.” He was a very secular man and an avid lay archeologist, and therefore, referred no doubt to the Zionist project as the third house. Israel is back in the Land for the third (and I believe the last) time.
What led to that near disaster, was the lack of good, balanced, and humble leadership who could navigate Israel to safe shores. We have a similar situation now; much wrangling and infighting fed by egos, lust for power, zealotry (from the right-wing parties) are a danger to the country, not only in the area of security, but also socially, and in every other way.
- We prayed for God’s mercy on the Land, to give us a balanced (maybe a unity) government.
- We asked the Lord to protect us from the zealots and those who would lead Israel to disaster.
- We asked for a government that would fight corruption, end the extortion of the religious parties and is the government of the whole nation, not just parts of it.
- We expressed our faith that it is God who brought us back to the Land and therefore asked Him to give our people hope.
- We reminded the Lord that His promises encompass every area of life for the restored people of Israel: security, peace, well being, no famine (poverty), no corruption in leadership, care for the orphans and widows and all those who are weak and powerless.
- We cried for the Grace Israel needs but does not deserve, for the glory of His name.
Blessings from Jerusalem,