The Watchmen's Page - Feb'81

by Joseph Hunting

"I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem"

"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." (Zechariah 12:2-3)

In August of last year the Israeli parliament voted overwhelmingly to officially integrate East and West Jerusalem. In spite of the fact that thirteen years previously the physical barriers of concrete and barbed wire that had partitioned the Holy City had been torn down, this decision sent shock waves throughout the world's Islamic countries. The United Emirates President, Sheikh Zayed ven Sultan al-Nahyan said: "An all-out Arab-Islamic war remains the only way to liberate Jerusalem."

The effect upon the oil-producing Arab states was predictable. They immediately threatened to cut off oil supplies to any nation that established its embassy in Jerusalem. The result was a scurry of diplomatic activity as embassies complied by moving to Tel Aviv. In Britain Lord Carrington entered the arena by opposing Prime Minister Begin's plans to move his official residence to East Jerusalem. The United Nations Security Council predictably denounced Israel's decision and passed a resolution calling on nations with embassies in Jerusalem to withdraw them. On this vital issue Israel's once staunch ally, America, abstained from voting!

And so Jerusalem took another step closer to being the "burdensome stone for all people" and the world moved closer to the brink when the nations of the earth will be "cut in pieces". "In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem . . . and it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." (Zechariah 12:8-9)

The Holy City has passed through periods of crisis, more particularly in 586 B.C. and 70 A.D. when the City was totally destroyed and the inhabitants scattered.

Zechariah also speaks of a future destruction when God will "gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken . . . Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle." (14:2-3)

In the meantime we call upon lovers of Zion everywhere to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem".