Why Jerusalem? Recently I heard a song about Jerusalem. The lyrics speak of different people feeling what Jerusalem means to them. Each person looks with passion on their part of Jerusalem and yet is unwilling to share it with others.
This leads me to the pending declaration of annexation over Judea and Samaria, including parts of Jerusalem. People argue over land and homes wanting security. Yet man’s soul is more important than land. In John 4 we find Yeshua speaking with the Samaritan woman about this very thing. In verse 20 you can almost hear the sarcasm in her voice as she challenges the validity of praying there on that mountain in Samaria, or in Jerusalem. She saw Jerusalem as an offense, and today there are many opinions and viewpoints on how people see Jerusalem.
Throughout history much blood has been shed and lives lost for Jerusalem. Why are people ready to die and to kill for Jerusalem? Is it because it is holy or strategic? Or because they are convinced they have the divine right to it? Has it become an idol to those who see it as the fulfillment of a dream?
There are also those who have lost loved ones who fought and died for Jerusalem and who can no longer look at it because of the trauma. The prayers of many have gone up to the Father and as seen in Psalm 102:13-17, He will have compassion on Zion, responding to the prayer of the destitute.
Meanwhile, has the ideology of taking the land superseded our central call which is to be faithful to God? Our peace is in knowing that all this is temporary and that God’s heart is first and foremost for the people, not the place. We see this in Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”
The Jerusalem of today, the stones where prayers are placed, is not the Jerusalem which I look to. Although it matters, it does not matter in the same way as the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 which I am looking toward and waiting for. It is true that each has its own significance, yet the full picture of what we can expect is revealed in Revelation 21:9-16. In that day Jerusalem will come down and extend even farther than the existing borders of the State of Israel as it stands now.
How does God see Jerusalem? I believe Yeshua’s answer to the Samaritan women is the same to us today as it was then.
“A time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:21-23).