Jerusalem, Jerusalem

imagesI have been to this city.  I stayed in the old city, in a hostel that is four hundred years old. For Americans it is hard to grasp such longevity, but this is considered new construction in the old city.  It is a marvelous place, the home of two great religions; a place of significance to a third; and the place where many others want to lay a claim.  Jerusalem is the birthplace of Judaism when Abraham was called by God to go there, and once there received His promise that to his descendants God would give this land. (Gen. 12:1,7; 15:7,18-21; 17:8).  Now, it does not matter whether you believe the Bible/Torah; that this promise has any relevance, or that God even exists; because God is well able to keep His promises irrespective of anything or anyone He created.

Today, we see Israel as a nation restored to their promised land, against all odds, against the will, warfare, and hatred of most of the surrounding Muslim nations. Very soon Jerusalem will be once again be Israel’s Capital city.  King David purchased the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite and even though he offered to give it without cost David replied, “No, I insist on paying you for it.  I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” (2 Samuel 24:24).  It is thought to be the place where Abraham offered Issac as a sacrifice; the site of Solomons temple and subsequent temples; the place where Christ was condemned by Pilate, and eventually the site of the Dome of the Rock, today.  The building over the Dome of the Rock was built in 691, subsequently collapsed and was rebuilt in 1022.  It’s gold-plated roof was added in 1959 and again in 1993.  Islam was founded in 300 and muslim tradition holds that this is the site where Muhammad ascended to heaven. Consequently, three religions have great interest in this small area of Jerusalem, but Israel’s claims are by far the earliest and seemingly the most substantial.

The future of Jerusalem is as significant as its past.  The returning Messiah/Christ will come on the Mount of Olives and go through the eastern facing Golden Gate. Christians and Jews believe this (Matt. 23:39; Isa 59: 20-21; Zech. 9:9; 14:4) and Muslims believed enough to close the gate with stone and mortar, in order to keep Him out, in addition to placing graves in front of it to block and desecrate His passage.  King David captured Jerusalem and built his palace there. (2 Sam. 5:9).

“At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord.  No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.  In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance. ” (Jer. 3: 17-18).  In 1947, this prophecy was fulfilled.

There is a secure future for Jerusalem, promised by God.  “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when this city will be rebuilt for me from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.  The measuring line will stretch from there straight to the hill of Gareb and then turn to Goah.  The whole valley where dead bodies and ashes are thrown, and all the terraces out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, will be holy to the Lord.  The city will never again be uprooted or demolished.” (Jer. 31: 38-40).   Zechariah saw the same event.  “The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah.  But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place.  It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed.  Jerusalem will be secure. (Zech. 14: 10-11).

Israel is free to make its capital where it chooses within the borders of its country. Does it seem unusual that the whole world seems to take an interest and claim a place at the conference table when Israel considers making a decision.  This is evidence of God’s love and purpose for Israel and Jerusalem specifically.  The Israelis are very humble and gracious with respect to this strange behavior the world exhibits toward them.  Yes, it’s true that people from every nation and background are drawn to Jerusalem, so that tourism is important.  Nevertheless, who would be so tolerant with respect to their private affairs. I can assure you that Americans would not be so polite if the Australians, for example, started telling us how to run our affairs.

In fact, the Israelis are more than tolerant, they are merciful to their enemies. During this civil war in Syria, they established a field hospital on the border to heal and assist wounded and sick Syrians, at no cost.  After the devastating earthquakes in Haiti, they were the first nation to arrive and only one to set up a field hospital there. Most of this is never reported in the liberal Democrat media because of their bias and hatred of Israel. It is difficult to determine upon what such bias and hatred is based, but it is very sound to say that the liberal Democrat media is wrong, as they are consistently on the wrong side of every issue.  Israel’s Messiah longs to gather her children in love, but will do so when they say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

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