A time to weep:
“The sun will no more be your light by day,
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.” — Isaiah 60:19
Jews around the world commemorate Tisha B’Av, a time of mourning that marks the many tragedies that befell the Jewish people throughout history on this particular date. Yet from this time of sorrow comes a ray of hope. This is one of nine devotions from the timeless teachings of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein exploring how we can find comfort in the depths of tragedy and transform darkness into light. To learn more about Tisha B’Av, download a copy of our complimentary Bible Study, A Time to Weep.
Sometimes, life can feel like we’re on a roller coaster. We are up when circumstances are good and then down when our fortunes take a turn for the worse. We get good news, and we are up. Bad news, and we are down in the dumps. An unexpected check in the mail, and we are elated. Something breaks and we have an unexpected expenditure, we are right back down again.
Life’s a bumpy ride when we tie our well-being to our circumstances.
But it doesn’t need to be this way. We don’t need to live our lives according to the whims of our current situation. When we trust fully in God and know that everything is ultimately for the best, we can be at peace no matter what the circumstances may be. In Psalm 112:6–7, the psalmist put it this way, “Surely the righteous will never be shaken . . . They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” Those who trust in God are unshakable – they cannot be moved from their place of trust and tranquility.
This verses from the book of Isaiah are traditionally read during the seven weeks following Tisha B’Av, offering words of comfort for the nation of Israel. These verses specifically describe Israel after redemption. Among the prophecies is this: “The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light.”
One way of understanding these verses is that the sun and the moon represent our ups and downs in our lives. Everything is sunny, so we feel great. The sun sets, and maybe the moon is full or maybe it is barely visible, and all is dark; we go into depressive darkness.
Essentially, God is telling us that this up-and-down cycle will be no more. We will always have the light of God to shine on us. No matter if it’s bright and sunny in our lives or dark and gloomy, we will always have light — meaning, we will be clear-headed and content no matter what.
Friends, let’s remember that we don’t have to wait for this prophecy to be fulfilled in order to live like that. We can decide right now to be like the righteous who never fear bad news. We can declare that we will remain peaceful and joyful no matter what our circumstances might be. When we place our full trust in God, there is no such thing as a bad day because every day brings gladness, peace, and divine illumination.