I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.
There the thrones for judgment stand, the thrones of the house of David. 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.”
For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.
These are trying times again for Jerusalem. Why? Because of all the places on Earth He could have selected, God chose Jerusalem for His eternal home. (2 Chron. 6:5-6) And since that time the enemy has known that until he has possession of Jerusalem, he doesn’t really have possession of Earth. This is why the final battle for control of Earth will be fought over Jerusalem.
Stop to think about it. Jerusalem has no natural harbor. It isn’t situated astride any major trade route. Nor is it a gateway city. It’s not a banking or industrial or commercial or medical or hi-tech center. It has no natural resources. While it’s too hilly for an airport it doesn’t command any strategic high ground. It has nothing at all to commend it except for the fact the God chose it for Himself. And to some that makes it the most coveted piece of real estate on the planet.
Probably for just that reason, God commanded us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that there would be peace within its walls. He knows well enough how few days like that there have been in its 3000-year history.
When Abraham came there with Isaac to act out the prophecy that God would fulfill in Jesus, he named the place Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide. It became an affirmation. “On the Mount of the Lord it will be provided,” the people said. At that time the city was named Salem, Shalom in Hebrew. The City of Peace.
The Holy Blood shed there has brought us peace in the eternal sense, but alas there’s been no peace for Jerusalem. Its very existence inspires thoughts of war in the hearts of its enemies. The Lord did provide, and will do so again. But until then there will be no peace in the City of Peace. Oh, they’ll think they’ve found it a time or two, but like the bumper sticker says, “No Jesus, No Peace.” So when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, you’re really praying for the Lord’s return. Something He also wants.