Jerusalem — there is no city in all the world or in all of history that has seen as much conflict as Jerusalem. From the days when King David drove out the Jebusites to make Jerusalem the capital of his great kingdom to the present day there have been battles over who would control Jerusalem. Today the conflict continues, as the Palestinian Arabs lay claim to the city and vow to once again control the Holy City.
What is our response, as Christians, to the conflict over that ancient city? Unfortunately, there are many who claim the name of Christ that side with the Arab nations in their claim to the city of Jerusalem. What is often forgotten is that God himself put His name on Zion, the Holy City of Jerusalem.
When the prophet Abijah predicted the dividing of the kingdom after the death of King Solomon he said that God would not take the entire kingdom from Solomon, but that “…he (Solomon) shall have one tribe, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city that I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel … that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name.” (1 Kings 11:32, 36)
I just finished reading a book entitled “For the Love of Zion” by Elwood McQuaid. I don’t think anyone has a better understanding of the Jewish people and God’s promises to Israel than he does. The book is a fairly heavy read, but he does a marvellous job of showing the wonderful destiny God has in store for Israel and the Jewish people. In spite of the hatred and animosity of the nations around Israel, and their determination to wipe Israel off the map, the future of God’s chosen people is assured.
God chose the descendants of Abraham, through his son, Isaac and Jacob as the recipients of His covenant promises and He has not and will not abandon them or go back on His promises. In Deuteronomy 7, under the inspiration of God himself, Moses told his people,
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” (Deut. 7:6-9 ESV, emphasis added)
And He has chosen Jerusalem as the one city out of all the cities of the earth, to be the place to name as his own. As Elwood McQuaid says in the closing pages of his book,
“It was there His Temples stood and will again stand in the future. It was there His kings reigned. It was there all males were called to worship three times each year at the great feasts. And there the Messiah shall hold sway over reconciled Israel and all the nations in the Kingdom Age."
Yes, Israel will survive and Jerusalem will survive. In fact, they will more than survive. As Christians who believe the prophetic Scriptures, we look forward to the day when the Messiah will establish His Kingdom and reign over all the earth from His throne in the Holy City Jerusalem.
Gordon Rowland has been a Missionary-Pastor with Village Missions of Canada for over 35 years. Gordon and his wife Val have lived and served in Clive since 2001. They have four children and nine wonderful grandchildren.