“On the holy hills stands the city [of Jerusalem and the temple] God founded. The Lord loves the gates of Zion [through which the crowds of pilgrims enter from all nations] more than all the dwellings of Jacob (Israel).
Glorious things are spoken of you O city of God. Selah! I will make mention of Rahab [the poetic name for Egypt], and Babylon as among those who know the city of God–behold, Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia–saying, This man was born here.
Yes, of Zion it shall be said, This man and that man were born in her, for the Most High Himself will establish her. The Lord shall count, when He registers the Peoples, that this man was born there. Selah!
The singers as well as the players on instruments shall say, All my springs (my sources of life and joy) are in you, city of our God.” (Psalm 87)
Jerusalem. There is no other place like it on earth. It is truly one in a million. It is the most hotly contested piece of real estate on the planet with a four thousand year old family feud at the heart of it all.
I was blessed and honored to go to the nation of Israel with my sister in 2013. I can remember stepping out into the air from the airport in Tel Aviv and realizing that I could “feel” God smiling over this tiny country. It was almost tangible and it remained that way the entire time I was there. There was such a sense of security and peace there even though right across the border in Syria, thousands of people were dying in a horrible civil war.
The first verse in this Psalm happens every day in Israel. Pilgrims come from all nations to walk the paths that Jesus walked. To sail on the Sea of Galilee, to visit the Mount of the Beatitudes, to walk through Capernaum and Nazareth and Bethsaida…and finally to Jerusalem. Seeing that city for the first time brought tears to my eyes and even now as I type this, my ears are full of tears. It truly is the City of our God.
To stand at the Western Wall and pray along with the other Jewish people was a great honor. To ascend to the Temple Mount and feel the open heavens above cannot be compared to. To see the Garden tomb where Jesus rose puts it in a whole different light.
I will be forever thankful that the Lord sent me there to experience this wonderful country. The day we left was bittersweet. On the one hand I wanted to stay forever in Galilee…the place that Jesus loved so much but I was so ready to get back home. Sometimes I close my eyes and think back to those days in Israel and wish so hard to be back there…even with the threats of war, God has His hand on that nation. We all saw it during the Gaza war this summer.
One day it will all culminate in Jerusalem…the great City of our God! Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love thee, the Word says. You want blessings flowing in your life? Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You want the favor of the Lord smiling down on you? Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.