by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.
Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Tonight begins Tisha B'Av, the ninth day of the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar year. Some of you may know that a lot of bad things have happened to the Jewish people on this date, the first of which was when the spies returned with an evil report of Israel, written about in Numbers 13 and 14. Both the first and the second Temple were destroyed on this exact day, hundreds of years apart. The Crusades began on this day in 1095. The Jews were expelled out of England on this day in 1290. They were expelled out of Spain and Portugal on this day in 1492. And these are just to name a few!
Although these may be days of mourning, we who know our Messiah shall not mourn for long. Joy awaits us in our Father's arms for eternity. And while we should all be looking forward to that, we need to be crying out for Israel at this time — especially with war on the horizon — that her eyes would be opened to the truth and the everlasting joy we can have in Him!