I am writing this blog from my office in the center of Jerusalem. Today is a special day here called “Jerusalem Day”. It is a celebration of the city of Jerusalem. I often marvel at the enduring importance of this city to so many different peoples and the turmoil that has surrounded it throughout its history.
“I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name.” ~1 Kings 11:36
The chief reason that Jerusalem has remained such a captivating and contentious city is the mere fact that it is God’s city, the one place He chose to put His name. It is also the place to which the Messiah will return; however, He will return only when He will be welcomed back by the Jewish inhabitants of the city, as we see Yeshua stipulate in Matthew. For this reason, the powers of darkness are doing everything possible to seize the city, as evidenced by so many who are vying to gain control over it and delegitimize Jewish claims to it. Islam claims it as its third holiest site, the place, Muslims believe, Mohammed ascended into heaven on his horse. Jerusalem holds great significance, of course, for Christians worldwide as the place where the Savior was tried, crucified, and rose again, and from where the gospel first went forth. For Jews, Jerusalem is simply the holiest place on earth, the city where God placed His name, where once stood the Jewish Temple which was the spiritual, economic, cultural, and governmental center of Judaism until its destruction in 70 AD.
It is hard to read the Bible and ignore the importance of this city to God and the people of Israel. In 1967, the Jewish people regained control of their holy city for the first time in 1,900 years. Even in the forty short years of Jewish control over Jerusalem, the world refuses to recognize it as the capitol of Israel, the Palestinians will go to any length to make it the capital of a Palestinian state, and the international community wants to divide it. Even the gay community has gone out of its way to leave its mark on Jerusalem by insisting each year to hold an offensive gay pride parade here.
In Hebrew, “Yerushalayim”, means “city of peace”, a far cry from what it has been and what it is today. The name itself is prophetic. In the days of the Messiah, peace and righteousness will fill the earth from Jerusalem. It will be the place that God will actually come to dwell with His people, an almost incomprehensible thought. The Word of God makes some pretty amazing promises regarding Jerusalem, its future, and, ultimately, what our eternal future is. Those promises are a direct challenge to the Prince of Darkness; he must have thought that he won the battle two thousand years ago. The battle is far from over and will only intensify in the future as God’s promises for His people draw closer. Until that time, God calls all of us to pray for the peace of this one city, for Jerusalem to finally live up to her name. Jerusalem is God’s promise to His people Israel and to all of us. Let us not forget Jerusalem; she is the treasure chest of His eternal goodness and faithfulness to His promises!
May my right hand forget her skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
If I do not remember you,
If I do not exalt Jerusalem
Above my chief joy.
~ Psalm 137:5 & 6
May these words rind true in each of our lives.
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