Av: Overcoming Unbelief

Av is the fifth month on the Hebrew calendar. We’ve all heard that five is a grace number, and Av is a month when we need grace, a grace that overcomes. The ninth of Av (Saturday, August 6, 2022) is a day of mourning and fasting because it is on that day the First and Second Temples were destroyed.

Even though Av remembers tragic events, it doesn’t have to be a doom and gloom month. For example, God desired Israel to spy out the land and then take it, but Israel fell into unbelief. So Av is the month to overcome your unbelief.

Deuteronomy 1:1-6 LSB “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and Laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab.2 It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea.3 Now it happened, in the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the children of Israel, according to all that Yahweh had commanded him to give to them,4 after he had struck down Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and Edrei.5 Across the Jordan in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to expound this law, saying,6 “Yahweh our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”

There comes a time when you leave where you have been and take your promise. Av is a month to rebuild your faith in the promise of God. Part of rebuilding your faith is watching who and what you listen to. Israel listened to ten people in unbelief instead of the two people who believed God. Who we walk with matters. Walk with people of faith this month and continue walking with people of faith through each month of the year.

Look at how Peter begins his second letter. “Simeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ,To those who have received the same kind of faith as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;” The NASB note says faith of the same value. Faith, in this verse, is not saving faith but the faith you live by.

Saving faith is the doorway, and many people choose to stop at salvation, but there is a faith that goes beyond redemption. It’s time to walk in a growing faith.

2 Peter 1:3-15 LSB “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the full knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.8 For if these things are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 For in whom these things are not present, that one is blind, being nearsighted, having forgotten the purification from his former sins.10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and choosing sure; for in doing these things, you will never stumble;11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been strengthened in the truth which is present with you.13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has indicated to me.15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.”

There are things to be added to our initial saving faith that brings about the victory Jesus intended for his followers. Av is a month to overcome and begin gaining victory. Begin adding to your faith this month. Begin believing the promises again; believe in God’s goodness again. Repent of your sins and your missteps, and get back on the path God has for you.

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