Ten years ago at this time my wife and I were in the CNN Tower Hotel in Atlanta for a Business Trip we had earned with the insurance company I worked for. The first night was during this time referred to as “DIRE STRAITS.” We were at the pre-dinner gathering for hors d’oeuvres when we met two insurance agents from Los Angeles who were orthodox Jews. They had ordered a kosher meal for the banquet. I mentioned to them if they were aware that this was the time of year called “Dire Straits” and the 9th day of Av? They got excited and asked me how I knew about this important time of the Jewish Calendar. I then told them what I have written below. They were amazed, saying, you know more about this than we were taught in the Synagogue.
For those unfamiliar with the period called the “dire straits”, it is a 3 week time period between the 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av on the biblical calendar. This year, 2022, it falls between July 17th and Saturday, August 6th. The first day and the last day are two of the fast days as mentioned in Zechariah 8:19. This is a time period set aside to repent and ask for forgiveness for the sins of our forefathers as Daniel did in Daniel 9:3-19.
These three weeks have always been troublesome times for the nation of Israel. The 17th of Tammuz, is when Israel worshipped the golden calf in the wilderness and the 9th of Av, is when Israel believed the report of the 10 spies and walked in unbelief not entering into the Promise land. They are linked together historically as days on which Israel has been punished for their sin. The Lebanon war that broke out July12, 2006 started on the 17th of Tammuz. In Zech 8:19 it is prophesied that some year that day will turn to a day of rejoicing.
Tzom Tammuz – The Seventeenth of Tammuz, this past Sunday, July 17th, 2022.
Five great catastrophes occurred in biblical history on the 17th of Tammuz:
1. Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai — in response to the sin of the Golden Calf. (Exo 32:19)
2. The daily offerings in the First Temple were suspended during the siege of Jerusalem, after the Kohanim could no longer obtain animals.
3. Jerusalem’s walls were breached, prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD.
4. Prior to the Great Revolt, the Roman general Apostamos burned a Torah scroll – setting a precedent for the horrifying burning of Jewish books throughout the centuries.
5. An idolatrous image was placed in the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple – a brazen act of blasphemy and desecration.
Notice that two of these events have a second fulfillment yet to come –
The daily sacrifices will be stopped and an idolatrous image will be set up (Dan 11:31; Eze 8:3-5; Rev 13:14-15).
Watch Israel during these next three weeks. President Biden met with three heads of States last week on his trip to the Middle East: PM of Israel, President of Palestinians, and Prince of Saudi Arabia. Reports are coming out four of them were discussing a peace plan that would give a divided Jerusalem to Palestinians for peace.
For us believing Messianic Gentiles and Jews it is a time of reflection, worship, and giving. Idolatry is something that looms at the doors of ones heart and soul. What keeps it away is our worship.
True Worship is found in Romans 12:1-21. The Apostle Paul outlines Worship in this amazing chapter.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
How is our Worship Lived Out Daily: Romans 12
1. Humble Service In the Body of Christ: vs. 3-8,
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
2. Love and Behave Like a Follower of Yeshua, King Jesus: vs. 9-13
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
3. Bless and Bless Again: vs. 14-16
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
4. Live at Peace With All Men: vs. 17-21
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Shalom and Blessings! Jim and Debbie Laymon and Wellspring Israel.