"It's Rebuilding Time" Candice Borland Smithyman.
God says it’s time to rebuild! The last three weeks from 17 Tammuz to 9 Av have been Three Weeks of Mourning. According to the Jewish tradition this was the time when Moses went up on Mt. Sinai at God’s request to receive the Ten Commandments and when he came down He found the Israelites worshipping a golden calf. He was so angry he broke the tablets. The Jewish people also mourn the breaches and destruction of what today is known as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, built by the Jews, was destroyed during this time in 586 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. This resulted in the massacre of 100,000 Jews and a massive national exile. The destruction of the First Temple led to the Jews rebuilding it later in that century. The rebuild, known as the Second Temple, also was subsequently destroyed, on the exact same date as the First – only 655 years later, at the hands of Titus of Rome.
As much as I personally have issues with the Gregorian calendar month of July, such as church attendance decreases, and my husband and I are pastors, so this sorrow is close to home. It is also time to celebrate in many ways, when we get close to the end of the month. God spoke to me all week it was a time to rebuild. I didn’t quite understand that until this morning before worship, He said today, “Declare and decree before My throne and My people that the spirit of heaviness is gone, and to put on the garments of praise and begin to build the desolate places.”
He then showed me in Isaiah 61:3-4, that this is exactly what He told the people.
There was a time of mourning but now get up and rebuild what was destroyed and the desolate places will be restored.
To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called [d]oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations.
As I sought Him more, He shared with me that the main way to rebuild this month is by faith and faith alone. It was during the Three Weeks of Mourning that He was tearing down our self- righteousness by revealing areas in our life where we have been worshipping idols just as the Israelites did when Moses went on Mt. Sinai. However, now that the mourning is over, God wants us to rebuild on what Jesus has done for us. That is by faith alone in God’s righteousness through Jesus, as our foundation, and not our own self-righteousness, judgements, or good works.
In Philippians 3:7-12, the Apostle Paul is revealing the secret to living life in the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ, it was by faith alone in Jesus’ righteousness.
He says, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss [c]in view of the surpassing value of [d]knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, [e]for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [f]the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; [g]in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on [h]so that I may lay hold of that [i]for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
Our restoration of the desolate places that occur when we worship idols will depend on how much we set aside our own self-righteousness, and instead put on His robe of righteousness as He says in Isaiah 61: 10-11:
I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its sprouts, And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up, So the Lord [h]God will cause righteousness and praise To spring up before all the nations.
So, let us “declare and decree” and stand together today, as we had three weeks of mourning the worship of idols in our life and the things we held higher than you God. Maybe that was money, relationships or security, but today we set aside the garments of heaviness in exchange for those of praise and your robe of righteousness! Though things were torn down we will rebuild the desolate and waste places by your righteousness alone in the faith we have in the resurrection of your son, Jesus Christ. We will adorn our living temples with holiness and the robe of your righteousness as we stand in faith.”
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