Editorial - Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem

by Joseph Hunting

Jerusalem is unique in a number of ways. Whereas most capital cities are located either on the coastline or by a large river, Jerusalem is located in rugged hill country on the fringe of a desert.

Jerusalem also has a Divinely ordained destiny, not shared by other capital cities. "For the Lord hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it." (Psalm 132:13-14).

The Temple which Solomon built in Jerusalem was also unique. "And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building." (1 Kings 6:7). When the Temple was completed, "the glory of the Lord filled the house of God". Surely, nothing like this has ever happened even to the world's most ornate buildings.

Jerusalem has the distinction of being the only city for which we are commanded to pray and it is unique in that the Eternal promises prosperity to those who comply with His command.

No other city has been more loved, hated and fought over. Its streets have been drenched with Jewish blood. No other city has been destroyed so many times only to rise again from the ashes. And the history of Jerusalem turned a full circle on June 7th, 1967 when the City was liberated from the Gentile domination of 2,500 years.

There are three links in a chain that bind Jerusalem to the Eternal and guide its destiny in spite of the present political turmoil.

The first link is the Lord's loving concern: "For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." (Isaiah 62:1).

The second link binds the Jewish people to Jerusalem and is expressed in their lament by the rivers of Babylon. "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy." (Psalm 137:4-5).

And finally the Messiah adds his yearning, mingled with his tears, for the peace of Jerusalem. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, until ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:37-39).

Whilst the world's powers, both great and small, fail to recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the State of Israel, the Holy City will continue to be "a burdensome stone" for the nations, and in due time will suffer the consequences: "All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zechariah 12:3).

In the ultimate, the peace of Jerusalem and indeed world peace await the coming of the Prince of Peace of whom it is written: "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgement and with justice from henceforth, even for ever." (Isaiah 9:7).