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The Fast of the Fourth Month: The 17th of Tammuz

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The 17th of Tammuz is regarded as the day Moses came down with the first set of Ten Commandment tablets and found Israel worshipping the golden calf. God had invited them to meet with him on the mountain too, but in fear they sent Moses on their behalf. They had been offered an encounter with the living God and instead chose to worship dead gold fashioned by man.

On the 9th of Tammuz centuries later, the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem and began to destroy the city, leading to the destruction of the 1st Temple on the 9th of Av. This same Nebuchadnezzar carried off the youth of Israel, notably Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, or as you may better know them – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the three young men that refused to bow in worship to Nebuchadnezzar.

The 17th of Tammuz is significant again in 70A.D./3830 when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Roman army, leading to the destruction of the 2nd Temple. Zechariah 8:19 references a “fast of the fourth month” which modern Rabbinical teaching regards at the 17th of Tammuz, a day to mourn the breach of the walls of Jerusalem.

Worship is a theme with Tammuz and where we turn our adoration will have long reaching effects. This can be a good day, and good season in general to devote to worship and fasting, turning your heart and stomach’s longings towards the Lord. There are patterns over and over of what was set in motion in Tammuz continuing to fruition in Av. We head in the direction of our gaze; keep your gaze fixed on Jesus in this month especially.

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