Most Bible translations that I read translate the second part of this verse as, “May they prosper who love you.” In Hebrew, the word that is often translated as “prosper” is “YeShalevu” “יִ֝שְׁלָ֗יוּ”, which actually has its root in “peace, tranquility, serenity” and, in my opinion, is not quite accurately translated as “prosper”. A better way to translate this verse would be, “May those who love you live quietly and peacefully (securely)”.
While I can fully appreciate that not everyone will be able to read the Scriptures in their original language, I often get discouraged that so much gets lost in translation. Often, the real meaning of the verse is “watered down” so to speak. In this specific verse one can mistakenly think that if they “love” Jerusalem, they will prosper. In general, I have a serious problem with this idea. The idea that if we do something as an act of obedience to God, with the intention of gaining material blessing is wrong at its core.
I believe that our motives and desires to do things in our lives should come from a mere desire to honor God. Period. It’s not about what we can get out of it! Can God bless us for our obedience? Of course! But should we obey with the expectation of a blessing in return? In my opinion, no.
As followers of God who understand the sacrifice made for us in the image of His Son, we are to understand that we have already received more than we deserve. The fact that Messiah took our place on the tree, the fact that our inequities have been forgiven, and the fact that we await our eternal inheritance with God Almighty ought to be enough for each of us to gladly obey Him. If we truly understand this, our lives will become full of worship and praise…and living sacrifices to Him
Back to our verse… The mere result of obeying God, doing His will for our lives and caring for what He cares for, will be security, quiet, and a peaceful life in Him.
Loving Jerusalem is something that ought to be in the heart of every person that considers himself a child of the living God. It is the heart of God and we are to care for that which He also cares…and Jerusalem is one of His highest joys.
Will you take a moment to reflect on how you show your love for Jerusalem?
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