There is no doubt that Jerusalem has become a focal point of attention in the world since the proclamation by the American government that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. There are some in the world who rejoiced with this proclamation, but many others that opposed it and became angry. This shouldn’t surprise us. Jerusalem throughout history has been a center of friction and much warfare, having been controlled by the Babylonians, the Persians, the Romans, the Muslims, the Crusaders, the Turks, and the British. We, the people of Israel, have now returned, once again, after 2000 years in exile. Since 1967, Jerusalem has been under Jewish sovereignty.
God’s relationship concerning Jerusalem is clearly expressed in Ezekiel 5:5 “Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her’” and in Ps. 87:2: “The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” We can see from these two scripture verses that God regards Jerusalem as very important and He loves this city. He has positioned her as the geographical and spiritual center of the world, and appointed Jerusalem as His dwelling place. In Zechariah 12:2-3, it says, “Jerusalem is a cup that causes reeling.” Anyone who tries to harm her and drink from the cup will get hurt. Zechariah goes on to describe Jerusalem as a heavy stone, declaring that whoever tries to lift her will be hurt. In other words, the message to the Gentiles is very clear -- the one who comes against Jerusalem will be hurt. He will find himself fighting, not against Israel, but against God. “For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye” (Zech. 2:8).
We need to understand that it is not a political issue or an issue of inequality between the Jews and the Arabs, but rather, it is an issue of the purposes of God for Jerusalem. Therefore, the proclamations regarding Jerusalem that come from one government or another, are not as important as what God Himself has decreed about His city. To pray for the peace of Jerusalem is to pray that the purposes of God for this city will be accomplished, and also in all of Israel. It is to pray for the salvation of Israel, for the Jews, as well as the Arabs. In Isaiah 62:1, it says, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning.”
God’s people Israel will not see the Messiah until they say, “Baruch Baba b’Shem Adonai --Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matt. 23:37-39). When He returns, the Messiah Yeshua will return to Jerusalem, and His feet will stand on the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4). As we come to the end of 2017, let us together pray for this peace for Jerusalem. And may His everlasting peace fill your hearts as you enter this new year of 2018.
-- Dani Sayag