“Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together”
This week on the 28th of May Israel will be celebrating the 47th Jerusalem day to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 war. The above verse, has been the theme of Jerusalem Day ever since its inception. The Hebrew wording of the verse actually reads, “Jerusalem is built as a city joined or bound together.
And while we are grateful and joyful at the fact that Jerusalem is again, after 2,000 years the capital of Israel, we long for the fullness, when Jerusalem will be spiritually restored to the fullness of what God has meant and promised, a blessing in the midst of the earth.
We look with deep longing for another Day, another Jerusalem Day, in which the city will become all that the Lord has destined her to be, “A praise in the earth…,” “the Throne of the LORD,” and her new name, “THE Lord OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
The city and the people of Israel are one thing
That her future is bound with the people of Israel is clear from many scriptures. For instance, Jeremiah 33:16, partly quoted above says, “In those days Judah will be saved, And Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: ‘THE Lord OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’”
Clearly, in this verse Judah and Jerusalem is one and the same thing.
In Jeremiah 2, verse 2, we see that the Lord relates to Jerusalem as symbolizing the whole nation. “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD’, I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown.”
Obviously, it is the people of Israel that went after the Lord in the wilderness and not the city. The city and the people are considered one and the same thing.
Another, very moving verse, is found in Isaiah 65:19, “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying.”
Here again, the city and the people are one and the same. God is speaking of the day in which he will delight in Jerusalem and joy in His people, when He comes to remove all sin, sorrow, and pain— in bringing salvation.
But for now, Jerusalem is in bondage,
“…..The present Jerusalem…… is in bondage with her children…..Gal 4:25
And we are called to pray and intercede “And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” Is. 62:7
Praying clear through
Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. Isaiah 62:6-12
The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them. Micah 2:13
Go-through prayer demands a tenacity which must be fueled by vision, passion and desire, coupled with a consecrated life given to God. Go-through prayer becomes possible when faith arises in the heart that the thing hoped for is indeed the will of God; only this kind of faith is willing to risk all, to face any battle, and to endure every hardship until the desired end is reached.
We were reminded of this recently when some of the congregation visited a ‘stronghold’ on the southern ridge overlooking the highway to Jerusalem.
At one of the most critical moments, the battle was concentrated on the high hill tops that dominated and thus controlled the way to Jerusalem. Those bare hilltops, covered with rock and little more, became the focus of ferocious fighting. The young men who fought there basically hung on to bare rock, clinging tenaciously with every fiber of their being.
We, too, are called to take our stand, and hang on to the ‘strongholds’ — the high ground of our faith — the Word of God. We hang on to Him, who is The Rock, to Him alone, and to what He has uttered. There is a ferocious battle on earth over God’s will being done, and we cannot let go. This is our high place; we must not, we will not let go of it. Israel SHALL be saved, Grace will be poured out. Mercy is coming! His Body in the land will be sanctified, purified, made holy, and filled with the knowledge of the Lord.
As we gazed at the forested beauty of the Judean Hills, we could see the heavy roadwork being done below. From a narrow, little road in the 1940’s, the road to Jerusalem is now being expanded into a six lane highway. Israel is blooming, faith is becoming reality before our very eyes, the warfare and sacrifice were all worth it, and so it will be with us.
We will cling to the Rock until God fulfills His every purpose and promise, to the Glory of His name.
“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet.” Eph 6:13 ‘The Message’ version
“The soul cannot be listless when some great desire fires and inflames it. The urgency of our desire holds us to the thing desired with a tenacity which refuses to be lessened or loosened; it stays and pleads and persists, and refuses to let go until the blessing has been given.”1
And we know that there are no gimmicks, no tricks, no easy bypasses along the way. This prayer battle demands our all.
“No amount of money, genius, or culture can move things for God. Holiness energizing the soul, the whole man aflame with love, with desire for more faith, more prayer, more zeal, more consecration-this is the secret of power. These we need and must have, and men must be the incarnation of this God-inflamed devotedness. God's advance has been stayed, His cause crippled, His name dishonored for their lack.”2
Prayer is our battle-ground; this is the ministry that we are called to, whether in the congregation and in the lives of it's people, or in the Land.
Ofer - Jerusalem Prayer Center
1. E. M. Bounds. Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer, The: Experience the Wonders of God through Prayer (p. 32). Kindle Edition.
2. E. M. Bounds. Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer, The: Experience the Wonders of God through Prayer (p. 466). Kindle Edition.