David's City - Jerusalem

 

David's City - Jerusalem

 

Stone Structures

Walking down the alleyway from my apartment heading towards the main intersection I was struck once again with unique diversity of Jerusalem.

The crescent moon was rising as Shabbat ended and the city began to wake up.  I have been to Jerusalem several times now and I attempted to paused and look at it as with new eyes.  Everywhere you look you see stone.  Stone houses, stone apartments, stone shops, stone high rises.  Everywhere is this beautiful, yet foreboding stone.  When the sun sets the city looks golden, almost otherworldly. 

Soldiers & Secular

Young, old, secular, religious all reside here.  Jerusalem is one of the poorest cities in Israel and yet you can find the latest fashion.  You see the religious wearing their black or dark clothing.  You find soldiers - young men and women, wearing the uniform with M-16’s over their shoulder, or a side arm.  So young these soldiers look, yet they are ready in a moment to defend their homeland. 

Russian Roulette

Small cars, compact cars everywhere, at times you will see a large SUV.  Motor scooters weaving in an out of traffic, busses, these are the busses that terrorists blow up.  “Those riding the busses,” as one person said, “are playing bus roulette.” Arabs, and Jews live side by side. You can feel the tension in the air.  Very few people smile.  There is difficulty and despair in their eyes. Within the streets you will see a press of people going to and fro. 

Saga and Security

These highways and byways echo with history.  You walk on stone and behold structures that are centuries old and in some cases millennia old.  The Saga continues as your senses are aroused with the smell of meat cooking, with different colored fruits and vegetables in the old city. You hear horns blowing, people talking, some arguing.  Everybody watches for anything that doesn’t look right, anything suspicious.  You hear birds singing, you see walls, fences, steel doors, barbed wire, steel lattice over the windows. Dust everywhere. 

Marvel and Mystery

You marvel at the biblical historic mountains with their majestic peaks, trees and stories.  The Mount of Olives from the Temple Mount is glorious.  The white sepulchers of the religious Jews who wish to be resurrected first when the Messiah descends on the Mount (Zechariah 14) are amassed on the southern slope.  The steeple of the Church of Ascension atop of the mount reminds us of Christ’s ascension to the Father.  On the western face of the mountain you behold the Garden of Gethsemane and the place where Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem. Jerusalem is filled with the mystery and wonder of the story of Christ.

Emotions Engaged

You experience the places where Jesus walked.  The Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed a man. Your heart is moved at the place where He stood before Pilate.  You can touch the empty tomb, and gaze upon Calvary.  Oh, the religious experience is profound. Every emotion is engaged.  One can become almost overwhelmed with all this information coming at you.  You tremble and rejoice all at the same time.  David walked this area, the prophets came here, and the apostles dwelt here.

Common Courage

And yet, everyday common people live here.  They work long hours to eek out a living.  Everything is hard here.  Nothing is easy.  You admire their strength, courage, and tenacity. Many Jews make their “aliyah” (moving to Israel) from other countries not knowing why they come.  They just felt they had to relocate.  Some come for religious reasons.  You will find Christians here, very few however.  Jews and Muslims make up most of the construct of Israel.

Overwhelming Occurrences

Every once in a while you will find someone who has, what the Israelis call, “the Messiah syndrome” or “the Jerusalem syndrome,” meaning a religious person, Jewish or Christian, will be so overwhelmed that they begin to preach, or blow the ram’s horn on the corner or mountain top, or along the wall of the old city. 

Ruling and Reigning

Jerusalem has a powerful effect on people.  After all, as the rabbis say, it is the “center of the earth.” In fact they emphasize it is the “center of the universe.”  In this they are correct.  Jerusalem is where Jesus will rule and reign for a thousand years.  He will return to the Mount of Olives and then enter the city.  No wonder Jerusalem creates fear and wonder in the hearts of men Psalm 48.  Let’s look at some facts regarding Jerusalem:

Historically

  1. The first mention of Jerusalem is found in Genesis 14:8 where the city is called Salem. Salem means “peace.”
  2. Ezekiel mentions that the area was once populated by the Amorites and Hittites (Ezekiel 16:3).
  3. Jerusalem is also in the area of Moriah where Abraham bound Isaac (Genesis 22).
  4. God gave to David the city, via conquest, from the Jebusites around 1,004 BC, over 3,000 years ago (1 Chronicles 11:4-9).
  5. David bought a threshing floor for 50 shekels of silver (2 Samuel 24:24) and built an altar unto the Lord. (same area where Abraham bound Isaac)
  6. This threshing floor is where Solomon, David’s son, built the Temple (2 Chronicles 3:1).
  7. This is the site of the second temple and the temple that Herod embellished in the time of Jesus.
  8. Jesus rode into the city as people praised and worshiped Him as Messiah.
  9. Jesus was crucified outside Jerusalem’s walls.
  10. Jesus ascended to the Father from the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple.

The Future

  1. This will also be the sight of the Tribulation Temple (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
  2. Jerusalem will be hated by all nations (Zechariah 12:2,3).
  3. Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies (Zechariah 14:1,2).
  4. Messiah will descend in this area (Zechariah 14:3,4).
  5. This is where the Millennial Temple will stand (Ezekiel 40; Zechariah 2,3).
  6. God desires Jerusalem (Psalm 132:14).
  7. Jerusalem will be the center of Messiah’s Kingdom.
  8. Jerusalem will be the global capital (Isaiah 2:2-4).

We can begin to understand the beauty, significance and wonder of Jerusalem. 

Your prayers and financial gifts sustain our ministry to God’s ancient people Israel.   Together, we are teaching the church about Israel and Israel about their Messiah. 

You will be blessed as you partner together with Louise and myself in blessing the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). You are a significant part of the ITM family and I Thank you for your faithfulness.

May God bless in you profound and wonderful ways as you bless Israel, through, Israel Today Ministries.