Some believe President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capitol of the State of Israel on December 6, 2017 will bring peace. I am more concerned with what Jesus said Jerusalem must do before God allows peace to come to her.
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones to death those who have been sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you didn’t want to! 38 Look! Your house is left to you deserted! 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘How blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!'” [Mathew 23, International Standard Version]
The Amplified Bible translates verse 38 like this, “Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God’s help).”
Verse 38 is in reference to Jeremiah 22:5 which says, “But if you will not obey these words, I swear by Myself,” declares the Lord, ‘that this house will become a desolation.’”
One of the definitions of the word ‘desolation’ in Jeremiah 22:5 means to dry up or to be dried up. This is chilling! I know it is very difficult for the modern Christian to accept but God dried up [made barren] the land of the Jews and their hallowed city. This is true both in the natural and the spiritual.
History records Jerusalem and the hallowed Jewish temple were destroyed in 70 AD.
So why is the land coming alive in the natural and why is there so much excitement over what President Trump did yesterday? Man has an amazing capability to be creative and to be highly productive with their creativity. That is the mark of the Creator in the makeup of man that God made! None of those facts prove God should be given credit for what is an obvious improvement in the land.
But Kevin, what about what Isaiah said about God causing the desert to bloom. “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” [Isaiah 35:1 KJV]
Jesus is known as the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys [SOS 2:1]. Friends, there is no blossom or rejoicing of the desert that is divorced from the One who is the Rose! No Rose, no rejoicing! No Lily, no Life!
But Kevin, aren’t you spiritualizing the text? No! Paul said, “First the natural then the spiritual” [1 Corinthians 15:4]. Why do you think Jesus came as a human being [in the natural]? Jesus came to bring revelation of spiritual realities that are greater in every way than natural realities.
Everything the prophets said must be viewed in light of the Light of the world [Hebrews 1]! “1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
What “words” were the Jews to obey according to Jeremiah that would keep desolation from coming to the people and the place of their habitation?
“1 Thus says the Lord, ‘Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and there speak this word 2 and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on David’s throne, you and your servants and your people who enter these gates.’ 3 ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘Do justice and righteousness, and deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of his oppressor. Also do not mistreat or do violence to the stranger, the orphan, or the widow; and do not shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you men will indeed perform this thing, then kings will enter the gates of this house, sitting in David’s place on his throne, riding in chariots and on horses, even the king himself and his servants and his people.’”
“Do justice and righteousness”
We know they failed miserably in this as the leaders and some of the people constantly were in conflict with Jesus, and they eventually conspired against Him and murdered Him at the hands of the Romans.
“Deliver the one who has been robbed from the power of the oppressor”
Again, the Jews failed miserably here as they were the original oppressor of Jesus and instead of delivering Him they handed Him over to Pilate. In other words, they abandoned God and left Him in the hands of an oppressive politician.
“Do not shed innocent blood in this place”
This is the most egregious sin the Jews committed. In fact, they screamed, “His [innocent] blood be upon us and our children” [Matthew 27:25].
The commands of the Lord come with conditions. Obey and the gates to ‘this house’ will be open to kings, his servants and his people.. Disobey and ‘this house’ becomes a desolation. They chose desolation as their destiny!
The Jews in Jesus’ day declared, “We have no king but Caesar.” Until that confession is fessed you can forget about them entering the kingdom of God.
There will never be true and lasting peace until the Jewish people corporately repent for rejecting and murdering God’s free gift of salvation and peace to them. They must admit the Jesus they crucified 2000 years ago is the Prince of Peace, and until they do they will never see Him.
“14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 22 Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know — 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ — this Jesus whom you crucified.'”
Peter is not the only Jewish believer in Jesus who attributes Jesus’ murder to the Jews.
Look at what Paul wrote to the believers in Thessaloníki [1 Thessalonians 2], “14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.”
What Jesus had to say about Jerusalem is of more importance to me than what any President or politician says. Jesus made some astonishing statements about Jerusalem. One of which I mentioned above.
Another one is found in John 4. “19 The woman said* to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.’ 21 Jesus said* to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’”
Jesus makes it abundantly clear that beginning 2,000 years ago Jerusalem is not the center of the worship His Father is seeking. Again, Jesus said in at least 2 ways the Father is not seeking worship in Jerusalem so Christians need to back off the misinformation on the importance of the city of Jerusalem. And by the way, Jesus said ‘an hour is coming’, and then He said ‘and now is’. There are no words in between those two truths and there are no words that can replace His words!
Jesus removed Jerusalem as the primary place of the worship of God, and Jesus said that Jerusalem was desolate, lonesome, abandoned by Him [God], a woman neglected by her husband, divorced and devoid of God’s help [Strong’s and Thayer’s].
People misunderstand David’s plea for prayer found in Psalm 122:6 – “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.”
Love is not love if it is not accompanied with truth! We are to “speak the truth in love.”
There is no truth that violates the One who identified Himself as, “the Truth.”
When we define ‘prosper’ by human standards we reduce the power of what God intended when He dictated that word to be used. To prosper from heaven’s perspective is to obey God at all costs. That is true prosperity!
“I desire obedience rather than sacrifice” is a core value of the Father. Why? Because it is possible to sacrifice without obedience but not possible to obey without sacrifice.
Isaiah spoke of the Messiah when he prophesied, “Behold, My servant will prosper. He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted.” [52:13] Jesus confirmed what this was speaking about when He said, “”And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” [John 12:32] Can we agree that Jesus completed His mission by being completely obedient to the Father by carrying His cross to the very end?
David spoke approximately 1,000 years before Jesus. We must take what David said in view of what Jesus said. Does anyone really believe God will listen to any prayer for Jerusalem that does not consider what Jesus said about Jerusalem?
David is considered a prophet. Peter declared that on the day of Pentecost. “29 Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay.” [Acts 2]
Paul said this in Hebrews 1, “1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
Whatever God said before Jesus and whatever God [said] says after Jesus must be viewed in the light of Jesus’ life, ministry, message, mission, mandate and methods.
So, when we pray for the peace of Jerusalem we MUST pray for the Jewish people to accept the gift of repentance God has been offering them for 2.000 years so that they can repent for their rebellion and receive the free gift of eternal life that is found only in Jesus, the crucified and resurrected Lord of glory!
Then and only then will peace come to the Jews and Jerusalem!
Keep HIS Passion! Keep HIS Priority! Keep HIS Purpose!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin