October 9th 2010
Peace In Jerusalem
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls, and security within your citadels”
Psalm 122:6-7 (NIV UK)
“Jerusalem” means ‘City of Peace’ and yet there has been precious little peace within its walls or security within its citadels.
In about 1010 BC King David acquired Jerusalem, “the fortress of Zion”, through conquest (see 2 Samuel 5:6-10) and since then the city has gone through 3000 years of bloodshed and fighting. Jesus spoke of a time “when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies” (Luke 21:20), and barely a century has gone by when that has not happened. Jerusalem has been attacked over fifty times and has been invaded on at least 37 occasions. From the Persians to the Romans, from the Crusades to modern day conflicts, it has been a centre of violence and warfare.
Christ explained, in tears, that the city “did not recognize the time of God’s coming” (Luke 19:44). Matthew 21:1-11 tells us that the inhabitants of Jerusalem rejoiced when Christ entered Jerusalem, but they did not know him for who he really was: the Prince of Peace.
So far David’s prayer for peace in Jerusalem has not been realized.
In the course of their lives David and the prophets shifted their focus from the earthly Jerusalem to a future heavenly City of God. They did not understand clearly what they wrote about but they knew that, with God, there must be something greater than the very best around them. Peace like a river would flow through “the City of the Lord, Zion” (Isaiah 66:12; 60:14), and God would be its Redeemer (44:24). The apostle John takes up this imagery of the “Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
In this New Jerusalem the King of Peace will reign forever. God will wipe away all tears, and there “will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain” because the old order of things, including war, will have passed away (Revelation 21:4).
Now that’s something worth praying for!
Wonderful Father, thank you for the vision of the New Jerusalem, and we pray for the coming again of Jesus that it may be realized fully. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson