Tomorrow is the 9th of Av on the Jewish calendar. If you are not aware of the term, you should do a web search as there is a mass of information there. Simply put, it is the most defiled day in Israel’s time line, supposedly dating back to the bad report the ten spies gave about the Promised Land. Over the course of the last few millennia, an extraordinary number of awful things have happened to Jews on this specific day.
This is a classic curse on time with a trauma bond to defiled time as well. (Click here to order that teaching if it is a new concept to you). Remember that a trauma bond comes when people sit in judgment on God’s goodness, which is the essence of what the ten spies did.
It is difficult to figure out the math. For millennia this curse has been strengthened with sad regularity by Gentiles committing unthinkable slaughter, financial devouring and legal strictures on the Jews. There is huge legal right for the enemy to do more devouring on this day because of the past atrocities.
Equally true is the fact that over the last 30 years, there has been a massive amount of prayer by Gentile believers, seeking to cleanse this time. Identificational repentance has been done between Gentiles and Jews in many different constructs.
So in the annals of heaven, where is the marker at present? Has it been cleansed, or is it still somewhat defiled?
It is 6:23 a.m. right now in my office in California. Having read the crop of early morning e-mails, I can assure you that this day is not squeaky clean yet. People with Jewish blood, whether they know it or not, are being hard hit today with hopeless despair. So I assume more repentance and confession is needed before this time is cleansed for the whole world.
Read the web, weep, repent and confess. There is unfinished business!
The specific surface issue with the ten spies was that they allowed themselves to look at the history of the culture rather than the history of God.
Hard fact: over the history of mankind, walled cities, giants and angry armies were not good news. A lot of people have lost their lives poking around walled cities filled with armies that are led by giants. So when the spies looked at the reality of the history of the culture, they were hugely discouraged, saw going forward as an impossibility, so they sowed the seeds of hopelessness and powerlessness among their people.
The two spies looked at the history of God. There were the initial encounters with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, followed by the dramatic victory over Pharaoh and all of the impressive interventions of God in the last few years. God was clearly on their side. Hard fact.
At the end of the day, though, they had just experienced two years of God not measuring up to their expectations and their social contracts. Yes, He had done amazing things for them, but He had not done THE thing that they wanted which was to get out of their tents, out of the desert, and into a homeland where they could return to the agrarian ways of their forefathers.
They anticipated a short hike from Egypt to Canaan. Instead, God had taken them to Mount Sinai for the loooooooooooooooooongest time to work on their worship skills, establish their spiritual culture, set in place the leadership of the nation and generally lay a foundation for the coming big event.
Now they were looking at the fact that God was putting one more big obstacle in their way. In Egypt, He took down Pharaoh. The people’s only involvement was some minor obedience on the night of the Passover, followed by the hasty exit. Here, apparently, He expected THEM to do the heavy lifting (or fighting!). They felt quite violated because He did not sign off on their social contract.
So ten spies looked at the history of the culture and decided God was not good. Two spies looked at the history of God’s intervention and decided that God was good. Same data. Different choices.
Today, I am quite sure this will play out in thousands of lives. Those who have been less than happy with their progress through life will be presented by the devil with a vivid display on the big screen, with blue-ray quality and all the special effects of how the culture around them is doing well and they are doing poorly and the future looks grim.
If you come into agreement with that reality (because it IS a reality that you have not progressed as you would like to and the future looks worse than the past) you stand a high likelihood of being sucked into a pit of hopeless despair, powerlessness and self-rejection that will pummel you relentlessly — the curse on today.
On the other hand, if you can look at the grim reality of where you aren’t, point passionately at all the things you dislike about today, about your past life and about what you see ahead of you, and then, defiantly say, “Yes, all of that is true. I don’t like where I am in life. I don’t seem to be making progress. I don’t see a way forward. BUT God’s faithfulness in a multitude of small things in my life is bigger than His apparent silence in the big things in my life, therefore, I choose with my will to proclaim that God’s plan for my life is good, even though I don’t feel it.”
This is the posture Christ took in the Garden of Gethsemane. The history of the culture said that crucifixion was ghastly. He passionately looked at the grimness of it and unashamedly told His father He did not want to do it at all. Not even a little bit. Then, after being ruthlessly honest about the cultural view of things, He challenged the history of the culture with an utterly unambiguous statement that He was choosing to let God be God in His life because of His history seeing the hand of God in His life.
And notice that doing this once did not settle the issue. He had repeated visitations from the devil, inviting Him to look at the culture as more dominant than His Father.
So for some of you, today will be a knuckle busting hard fight against a huge temptation, but if you give into the temptation, you will be swept away in a tsunami of hopeless despair, powerlessness and self-rejection.
There is another picture, however, that is not often explored when the saints are contending for the cleansing of this period of time.
Our experience is that the times the devil arranges to curse are the strategic times in our lives that already came pre-loaded with blessings. So the window of time where you consistently experience financial devouring is actually the window when God desires to bless you. The window when you repeatedly experience huge family conflict is the window when God desires your family to be knit together in intimacy.
So let’s look beyond the Israelites’ initial sin, and the subsequent travesties that the Gentiles have visited upon them. Those are adequately documented on the web. What might God have imprinted on this time that is equally immense and good for those of you with Jewish blood in your veins or those grafted into the Hebraic root?
Clearly victory over the Canaanites — the last major obstacle to getting their heart’s desire. This time of your life that seems to be a season of impasse, powerlessness and futility, might have been loaded with the unction for victory.
But think about sonship. When they walked in a spirit of slavery there, God took them back to the wilderness for the rest of the 40 year slot and used that time to teach them sonship at a massive level. There are endless lessons in the book of Numbers about God growing an entire nation into sonship, one small step at a time.
Clearly they needed it.
But was God really planning to give the Promised Land to a bunch of people with a deeply entrenched spirit of slavery? It doesn’t make sense to me at all.
So think of all the people you know who went through dramatic encounters with God and were absolutely, permanently transformed in an hour, while the rest of us walk out our journey, one weary step at a time, spending 20 years to develop the things God developed in the other person in an hour.
Is it possible, that on this day in time there is a deposit for a dramatic lurch forward in our incarnation of sonship? Is it possible that in the process of going forward into impossibility, lies not only access to the external “goodies” we have been longing for, but more importantly, that glorious internal transformation — a spiritual lurch into sonship?
I don’t know. I am simply exploring possibilities, wondering on paper, seeking out the glories of God. The devil has gotten a lot of celebration for what he has done this day. God has gotten overlooked on the 9th of Av and that is not right since He was there first.
The one thing I know is that each day comes loaded with spiritual assets and liabilities. We must deal with the liabilities in our family line (and our Hebraic roots) but the most important thing is to embrace the treasures that are all, ultimately, a reflection of the nature of God.
So try praying today along the lines of James 1:17. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” NIV
That could be adapted to a prayer something like this.
“Father, I don’t know what treasures of light You have embedded on this window of time. But whatever You placed there has to be glorious because it came from Your nature, and because You have a vested interest in my life, since You chose to give me birth. By faith, I look away from the reality of the history of my life, and I look firmly at the reality of the history of Your goodness toward me. From that position of defiant faith where my spirit overrides the fear of my soul, I ask You to release in full the treasures of time that are embedded on the 9th of Av, to me and to my seed.”
Copyright July 2013 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub in Anaheim