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What is so special about Jerusalem?
Don't you find it strange that the really important things are so confusing? The Book of Revelation is the only Bible book that tells us that we're going to be blessed by reading it (Rev 1:3), yet it's the one we find the most confusing, so we tend not to read it.
In the same way, the Middle East situation is a confusing one, so we tend to ignore it or be content to have a superficial understanding, usually based on whatever has been fed to us by the media.
It is every Christian's duty, in these perilous times, to take the time to grasp the important issues, because one day you may be taken to task over your opinion. You owe it to your God, who has given you life in this world and the next, to understand what's really going on in Israel.
A grave danger is to be side-tracked by human issues. Yes, the Palestinians have had a hard deal, though not just at the hands of Israelis. Yes, they have suffered to an extent under Israeli rule, just as they suffered in Jordan and Lebanon. Prejudices are a fact of fallen humanity - ask a black man in the USA, or an aborigine in Australia. These are issues of human rights and inequality. But all these concerns pale into insignificance when divine issues come into play.
One of the hardest concepts for us to accept is that of election, how God makes His sovereign choices. God chose the Jews to inherit the Land and it's not up to us to take issue with Him over this choice. Romans 9:15 says, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion’. He makes His choices and doesn't feel the need to explain them or justify them to us.
God chose the Jews to provide us with the Bible and the Messianic line leading to Jesus. He chose them to suffer, for His own reasons - we don't see people arguing with that fact. But He also chose them to inherit the Land of Israel, unconditionally and forever. We have to learn to accept that fact.
And then there is Jerusalem.
Zechariah 12 provides us with an intriguing and alarmingly accurate modern commentary.
Verse 2 proclaims, ‘I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem’. This is happening now; we are living in those times predicted over 2000 years ago. Recently the United Nations made a resolution about Jerusalem whereby ‘the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem was illegal and, therefore, null and void’. Not a single nation supported Israel in this resolution - with 145 in favour of it and 5 abstentions. But, be warned, where the will of the nations are in opposition to the word of God, there can only be one winner.
Returning to the next verse in Zechariah 12, ‘On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.’
The Land of Israel belongs to God, it is His land. The city of Jerusalem also belongs to God, it is His city. In Psalm 132:13 we read, ‘For the Lord has chosen Zion (Jerusalem), he has desired it for his dwelling’. Can you think of any other city, anywhere in the world, that could attract such attention?
Jerusalem is unique. Just over a century ago it was a wasted, ruined city, yet now it is the focus of World attention. Any explanation other than the 'spiritual' one is folly. We are entering dangerous times, prophetic times. We must learn to read the 'signs of the times' because there is much deception around. Above all, we must hold onto God's Word regarding that parcel of land in the Middle East that can rightly be called "God's own country". Don't listen to the World and its rantings and don't get sucked into politics; it is just a distraction. Hold fast to the truth and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. As for the future, it is already being written as you read this.
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