This Sunday, May 20, Israel will be celebrating Jerusalem Day, which commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem after Israel regained control of the Old City following the 1967 War. Originally, the Old City was under the control of Jordan after the War of Independence in 1948 and Jerusalem was a city split between Israeli and Jordanian control. Under Jordanian control, Jews were forced out of the Old City and about half of the 58 synagogues in the Old City were destroyed.
After Jordan began to attack Israeli targets in 1967, Israel responded in self-defense. This resulted in the capture of the rest of Jerusalem from Jordan on June 7, 1967. The following year, it was decided that the reunification of Jerusalem would be celebrated each year on the date on the Jewish calendar that the event took place.
The reunification of Jerusalem was an unexpected miracle that cannot be explained apart from God’s enabling. Unfortunately, many Israelis still do not see God in the event and attribute it to Israelis’ great intelligence and power. However, we know that God had planned for the Holy City to be a part of Israel for a long time. The prophet Zechariah describes the restoration of Jerusalem going hand in hand with the return of the Jewish people from the nations (Zechariah 8:1-7). He describes Jerusalem being filled again with the laughter of children and elderly people and how God would return His people from the East and the West to come and dwell in Jerusalem. We can see that this is part of the reason He allowed Israel to take all of Jerusalem, though the people of Israel still need to be restored spiritually.
The reunification of Jerusalem under Jewish rule is even more amazing when one realizes that Jerusalem has been in the hands of non-Jews since its destruction in 70 A.D. This was predicted by Yeshua, when He said that Jerusalem would be “trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). For some reason, in 1967, God allowed for the city to be taken back into Jewish hands after nearly 1900 years of passing through many non-Jewish hands.
It is clear from scripture that God has a very special plan for Jerusalem and that it will eventually be the “Holy City” again, a name that it is still not living up to. God has allowed Israel to retake Jerusalem as part of His future plan to restore the Jewish people and restore the city to its Holy status.
On the other hand, the international community still does not recognize God’s plan for Jerusalem and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, even though this is the city where all the major Israeli government offices are located. Instead, most international maps give Tel Aviv as the capital. Furthermore, the international community continues to try and divide Jerusalem time and time again.
Even after Israel’s Independence, the international community pushed for Jerusalem to be given the status of an “international city” for ten years until a referendum in which citizens would vote whether they wanted to be Israeli or Arab. Israel accepted but the Palestinians declined the offer and Jordan then took over parts of the city, dividing it. When Israel took the city from Jordanian control, the city was finally reunified as a part of Israel.
It is interesting to not that shortly after the earlier mentioned prophecy by Zechariah about the restoration of Jerusalem, there is a warning of calamity that will befall all who attempt to besiege Jerusalem and take it from Israel (Zechariah 12). It says that Jerusalem will be “an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves” (Zechariah 12:3). As long as the nations do not take such warnings seriously, they are placing themselves in a precarious position.
On Jerusalem Day, many people celebrate with concerts and parties, or with festivals and cookouts. Sadly, most of this is done without any awareness of God’s part in Jerusalem’s current status. It is significant, however, in that the entire nation celebrates the victory over Jerusalem and the necessity of keeping the city unified. Now, may they begin to see how this can only be accomplished with their Lord and Savior, Yeshua!
- Please pray that Israelis would begin to recognize that Jerusalem was not reunified by their own strength or intelligence, but rather by the hand of God alone.
- Please also pray that God would draw Israel as it stands increasingly alone in worldwide opinion and support
- Moreover, please pray for Israel’s neighbors in the region to recognize God’s hand on Israel and to also begin to have their eyes opened.
- Lastly, please pray that Believers will be able to testify to God’s goodness and grace over Israel and that this would stand as a witness to those around them and cause many to reconsider the miracles that have been performed on behalf of the Jewish people.
For more, see “If I Forget”
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