Weekly Watch Focus: A Happy Ending!
Tuesday, July 28, 2020—
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:21-24
This week, Jews worldwide commemorate the uncanny tragedies that have occurred ON THE SAME DAY down through their history. Tisha B’Av—the “dire straits”—recalls the ninth day of the month of Av when ten of the twelve spies sent to look over the inheritance promised them returned in dreadful fear of the giants dwelling there. God calls the report of the ten “evil.” Their fear became infectious. On Tisha B‘Av Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians, Bar Kochba’s revolt was put down in a great slaughter, the Jerusalem Temple was razed by the Romans, the Diaspora began, the Jews were expelled from Europe, Russian pogrommes occurred in two successive centuries, and the “final solution” and the first train sending Jewish men, women, and children to extermination at Treblinka under the Nazi regime began the holocaust. Jeremiah’s eyewitness Lamentations are read in remembrance: “She dwells among the [heathen] nations, but she finds no rest; all her persecutors overtook her amid the [dire] straits [of her distress]” (Lamentations 1:3).
We might say the whole world is in “dire straits,” reeling from the impact of global pandemic, intensified in the U.S. by a cultural revolt that intends on the destruction of our Republic and is mixed with furor around an imminent national election. So what’s the good news?! Strangely enough, Tisha B’Av is called “the tragic love story with a happy ending!” Resting in the certainty of God’s faithfulness, God’s people possess HOPE in their victory in His ultimate fulfillment. That victory is Christ Jesus!
Revealed to us by His Spirit and through the scripture, we possess the greater promises. No fear of giants, spiritual or material, will make us tremble or turn back from laying hold of the inheritance He has procured for us by His death and resurrection and handed to us in promise by the Holy Spirit outpouring. We look up and ascend the mountain of His kingdom just as Caleb did the day he entered the Land. “Give me that mountain!” Caleb declared about the very mountain in which he had spied giants. Caleb slew the giants, took his possession, and passed it on to his children. The revealed things belong to us and our children. God revealed in Jesus is the fullness of our Father, Shepherd, Healer, Provider, Banner, Warrior, Presence, Peace, Bridegroom, Overcoming First and Last Word! Jesus is our happy ending, and we are His.
This week our prayer is an end to the coronavirus!
This week our prayer is a return to the commandments and cultural traditions of Judeo-Christian worldview.
This week our prayer is an overcoming victory for righteous leaders in local and national elections around the world.
Hosea 2:15, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her. I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”
Jeremiah 31:15-17, “’A voice was hear in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord, that your children shall come back to their own border.’’’
Psalm 84:5-7, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca [weeping], they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.”
Habakkuk 1:5, 2:14, “Look among the nations and watch—be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you….For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
Habakkuk 3:17, “Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
Psalm 20:1-2, 5, “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you; May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion…We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.”