sermon: Psalms: Book Three (Part Two)
A Prayer Amid Destruction
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Given 25-Jul-15; Sermon #1278; 77 minutes
Richard Ritenbaugh, reminding us that the ninth of Av, occurring at sundown tonight, July 25,2015, a time when the Jewish community will commence the fast of Tisha b'Av, recounts the horrific disasters which have embroiled Judah/Levi over the years, including the destruction of both Solomon's Temple and Herod's Temple, the first Crusade, in which Jews and Muslims were slaughtered by "Christians," Germany's declaration of war on Russia, unleashing a virulent strain of anti-Semitism there, and the mass deportation of the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka. Book Three of the Psalms addresses the compulsion to fast and to mourn. In Zechariah 7, God reminds Judah that their faithlessness and disobedience brought about the horrific destruction of Jerusalem, and if they would get with the program He has outlined for them, curtailing their pity parties, their fasts would be more productive and actually would transform into periods of rejoicing and praising God. If we keep God's Commandments, He promises to help us. If we sin, having the knowledge of His Commandments, we are asking to be crushed more than anyone else, because we should have known better. We should fast for the right reason-to get closer to God—and not to "get Him to do something for us." If we seek God's Kingdom first (life is more than the fulfilment of physical things which will not last for eternity), we will have no need to weep and mourn. If we repent and draw close to God, all of these fasts could be turned into periods of thanksgiving. After we beseech God, we must discipline ourselves to wait for Him to act.
Anti-Semitism Asaph Days of Av Communal group aspect Destruction of Herod's Temple Destruction of Solomon's Temple Disfiguring face Disobedience Drawing close to God Exalts horn of His people Exodus 32 Fasting for strife First Crusade Gregorian calendar Grief Individualism Isaiah 58 Julian Calendar Lunar calendar Matthew 6:16-21, 25, 32 National day of mourning Ninth of Av Numbers 14 Personal psalm Pity party Psalms 73:25-28; 74; 148 Praising God Ramadan Sabbath Selfish regret Solar calendar Treblinka regret Warsaw Ghetto Zechariah 7-8:14
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