WESTERN WALL, WAILING WALL

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Once it was a magnificent temple. Solomon built it. After centuries Herode rebuilt it. So magnificent was the temple that  the disciples exclaimed about it;  ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ (Mk 13:1). Later the buildings were  gone, but the stones of its western walls  still remain. Over the centuries, it has transformed into a wall of wailing where the Jews assemble to lament about the  lost temple. The reason? They  rejected Jesus the Savior, whom God sent to them. 

Today Israel has everything; wealth, influence, military power and what not? But they lost their most precious  possession, the temple where the presence of God (Shekinah) was  available.

History repeats in all its  shades. Straight to the  western world that has now become a large expanse of land barren in faith, where  wailing is the predominant  tone and mourning is the  prevailing feeling. Today the western world has everything; money, political power,  technological superiority,  and strategic assets. But they miss something very very important. The Shekinah or presence of God!

There are striking similarities between those who weep over the  lost temple at the  Western Wall and  those in the  western world  who mourn the way they  lost many things they held close to their hearts. A foreign invasion was what drove the   Jews   out of their homeland.  But  going   a little  deeper into history we will get the true reason. It was their rejection of the Lord. The rejection  happened before Christ, happened at the  time of  Christ, and continues even  after   Christ ascended into heaven.

The decadence of western culture  which had its  roots once firmly embedded in Christianity,  also started with foreign invasions. But  it was not the result of a  political or military campaign, but the  result of  an aggressive attack on their religious and  cultural ethos. It was because of the  folly of the Israelites that  other empires could conquer them. In the  case of  Christian countries in the west, again it was their folly in  inviting, welcoming, and supporting   people from a strange  culture, who oppose everything  Christianity upholds. It was like the famous  fable of the Arab and the camel. The Arab was a benevolent master who allowed first the head, then neck, then forelegs and finally the whole body of the  camel to  be inside  his small tent during a cold night in the desert.  At the beginning, it was  a request from the camel that gradually  turned into  a demand.  Since the tent was  not  made for both of them, the  camel’s demand was that  the  Arab should  get out of it so that the camel could be  comfortable inside!

The mistake of  the Arab   was  that  he tried to accommodate a camel in a tent that was made for men. Magnanimity has its limits and help should have gone to a human being, not camel. Today the   West is witnessing  the strange phenomenon of camels kicking out their benevolent masters from  the tent.

The free fall of  western world started at the  point when they started forgetting  the Lord who bought them with his  blood. ‘Claiming to be wise, they became fools’ (Rom 1:23).When they started ‘exchanging the  glory of  the immortal  God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles’ (Rom 1:24) the downward fall  gained more momentum. Seems ironic, but Paul the apostle  wrote these lines in his letter to the Romans, whose culture   was then   the  crown of  western world.

It is sad that nation after nation is drifting away from Jesus Christ and his gospel. They welcome everything  alien to  Christianity. With  an unimaginable  vengeance they abhor Christianity. When the forts of their  faith  were   left unprotected and open,  enemies found their way into it. They came, plundered and destroyed everything that defined the western culture for centuries. Western civilization as we know it, is at its deathbed. But ‘God  has no pleasure  in the death of any one’ (Eze 18:32).  He asks; ‘Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Eze  18:31).

Before the destruction of their temple, and  Jerusalem going into captivity the Lord had warned his people. “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace.  But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Lk  19:41).

Jesus tells us too; ‘If you  had only recognized this day……!’ To those who didn’t  recognize it in the past, the future was  reserved for weeping and wailing. If we  do not  answer the call of the Lord today our fate also will not be different. What we witness today are all harbingers of an unpleasant future and if we do not pay heed to the  warnings of the  Lord   it will definitely be upon us. We, as a civilization, are  fast  moving towards the tragic end that has been  the share of every nation forgetting  the Lord. It is time to  make amends and   re-ignite whatever faith is left in us. We are proud of  what we are. But the  Lord knows us better. He  says; “I know your works; you have a name of  being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen  what remains and is on the point of  death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my  God’ (Rev. 3:2).

Listen to the words of the Lord. “ Turn then, and live” (Eze 18:32). After all, why should we die?

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