This week I’d like to focus on Jerusalem, as we will commemorate Yom Yerushalim (Jerusalem Day) on Sunday, June 5th (the 28th day of the Hebrew month Iyyar). On Jerusalem day, we celebrate the miraculous reunification of God’s city, Jerusalem, in 1967. While I have spoken of the importance of Jerusalem in past blogs, I follow the wise saying of one of my favorite teachers/mentors who often says that, “We are in the ministry of reminders”.
Jerusalem is central to Judaism. Almost every synagogue in the world faces Jerusalem, and in fact, in every synagogue throughout the world there is a special prayer when everyone rises to face Jerusalem. I often wonder out loud why, if Jerusalem is so important to the Jewish people around the world, is it not for so many followers of Yeshua? This question may be hard for some to receive, but it is an honest question that I believe we need to address.
I believe that one of the main reasons is that many followers of Messiah don’t really understand the importance of Jerusalem. My purpose in this blog is to exhort the Disciples of Yeshua, our promised Messiah, (Jew and Gentile alike) to the importance that Jerusalem ought to have in each of our lives. Please note that I can only give a few points, since volumes can be written on the subject! My first reason why Jerusalem should be important to us is that it is important to God; Jerusalem is the city God Himself chose to be set apart and upon which to put His name: “‘But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name.” 1 Kings 11:35
I personally believe that should be reason enough! Each one of us who loves God ought to love and care for the things that He loves. Jerusalem is mentioned over 800 times in the Bible; there is no other city that is mentioned that many times. This is an important fact that every person who knows and loves God’s Word ought to pay attention to.
Jerusalem is the city that God refers to as His “chief joy”. From Psalm 137, we can understand that every person who loves and follows God ought to also consider it above his or her highest joy, and that if, God forbid, he forgets Jerusalem, it would be tantamount to losing one’s ability to work or speak:
“If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cleave 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
Jerusalem is the city for which God has instructed to us to pray on a regular basis when he told us in the present tense to, “Ask (Pray) for the Peace of Jerusalem”. (Psalm 122:6) Why should we do that? Because we know that the ultimate everlasting peace of Jerusalem will only come when Yeshua (The Prince of Peace) will return to rule from Jerusalem!
Lastly, Jerusalem is the city in which our Messiah himself spent much of His time, and had such a great love for. He wept over the city because of the people’s rejection of their salvation, and for the judgment that He knew would come over it (Zach 14 & Joel 3). It is also the only city that He said would see Him again upon His return and their acknowledgment of Him:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.”
My dear brothers and sisters, there is much more that I can write about the importance that Jerusalem ought to have in our lives. As we celebrate its miraculous reunification, let us also pray for its protection in the future and look forward to the day when Messiah will bring forth the New Jerusalem.
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