Today is Tishah B’Av. In the more traditional segments of the Jewish community, Tishah B’Av is a time of national mourning and the saddest day of the year on the Jewish calendar. On this day, the destruction of the First and Second Temples in 586 BC by the Babylonians and in 70 AD by the Romans, along with the resulting exiles, is deeply felt by the Jewish People. All around the world, Jews are in deep sorrow over the destruction of the Holy Temple in which the Shekhinah (vsible manifestation of God’s glorious presence) dwelled in Jerusalem among His covenant people. And in addition to remembering the loss of the First and Second Temples, Tishah B’ Av also recalls other significant tragedies that have happened to the Jewish people over the centuries, events which are also said to have occurred on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. And even though you may have never heard of Tishah B’Av, the history that’s associated with it is inextricably linked to much of what is going on in our world today.
Why is it that a country barely larger than New Jersey is always front page headline news? What is it about Israel that captures the world’s attention? From a purely human perspective, in terms of what many people say and do with regard to the Jewish people, the reason Israel is front and center on the world stage is because of the world’s animosity towards the Jewish people in general and the State of Israel in particular. Therefore, whatever happens in Israel is broadcasted and often Israel is faulted in those situations.
From a Biblical perspective, what we see happening with Israel today is essentially the ongoing conflict of the Satanic war against the Jewish people that has transpired since the time of Abraham. The Bible is clear that the one prerequisite to Messiah’s Second Coming is Israel’s national salvation (cf. Zech. 12:10; Rom 11:26), and until Israel cries out for Jesus’ return there will not be any Second Messianic Coming (cf. Matt. 23:37-39). And Satan knows that once Jesus returns his career is over, but he also knows that Jesus will not come back until the Jewish people ask him to come back. So if Satan can succeed in destroying the Jews before they have a chance to ask Jesus to come back, there will be no Second Coming and Satan’s career will continue uninterrupted. This is why there has always been an underlying spiritual war against the Jewish people since the time of Abraham. And that in turn is the foundational first cause for things like the Medieval Crusades, Russian Pogroms, and Nazi Holocaust. This is also why Revelation 12 points out that once Satan is confined to the earth during the Tribulation he knows his time is short, and because his time is short he inaugurates a worldwide persecution of the Jewish people to try to destroy them once and for all in order to prevent the Second Coming from happening.
So how does Jerusalem and more specifically the Temple Mount fit into all of this? Well, while Israel in general continues to create a major stir in world events, the central focus becomes increasingly fixed on Jerusalem, because in Bible prophecy Jerusalem is key to setting the stage for the Second Coming. It is against Jerusalem that all of the armies of the nations will gather together (Zechariah 12:1-13; 14:1-2). Plus, the reason for the conflict in Jerusalem at this time is because the Temple Mount in the Old City, where the Dome of the Rock currently stands, has become the third holiest site in Islam. And in the origin of Islam there is a principle that once something has become Muslim in the sense of being under Muslim control, it must stay Muslim forever. And if for some reason the Muslims lose that control, they must conduct Jihad in order to regain it. This is why a true Koran believing Muslim can never accept Israel’s right to exist, and that is why there is so much terrorism and attacks against Israel and those who support Israel. And so this tiny venerated section of religious real estate remains an insurmountable obstacle for those trying to find a way to solve an insolvable problem that only the Second Coming of Messiah will bring a final solution to; namely the Temple Mount Blues.