A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: Verse 1

PFTPOJ

Pull up a chair, friends.  Scripture commands us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, so we’re digging into the familiar passage, Psalm 122.  Let’s consider verse 1:

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”

As mentioned yesterday, Jewish pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem for the feasts recited this song of ascent (along with several others).  It is also significant to know that Jerusalem sits on a hill, thus one is always going “up” to Jerusalem, regardless of which direction it is approached.  So there is a physical “going up” to Jerusalem.

But there is also a spiritual “going up” connotation. Jerusalem has been called the port city of eternity.  It is not a “super spiritual” city in and of itself.  After all, it and its Temple were both destroyed on two occasions, and even today, the population is largely secular.  Yet, the city is holy because God chose it!

Just as He chose the Jewish people for a special and unique role (vehicle of world redemption), He also chose this city as the place of the Messiah’s crucifixion and resurrection to accomplish redemption for us!

Just as importantly, King Jesus will one day return to that city at the invitation of His chosen people (Matthew 23:39), to redeem them.  The city of Jerusalem holds eternal significance, so let’s pray for the Prince of Peace to return and introduce true peace!

Pray today…then join us again tomorrow!  See you then!

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: A Brief Overview

PFTPOJ

Hi friends!  Today we’ll jump into another short series called A Deeper Look at Psalm 122.  Scripture teaches us to stand with and support Israel, and perhaps the most important way to do that is to pray for her.  Often on this blog, we are encouraged to do just that, and Psalm 122 is often referenced.

So, let’s ask the Lord to give us deeper understanding of that familiar passage.  Here it is:

1I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together;
To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord
An ordinance for Israel—
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there thrones were set for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
“May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”
For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, “May peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your good.

A bit of foundation: Psalm 122 is one of several songs of ascent that were customarily recited as the Jewish people made their way to Jerusalem three times a year for the feasts.  It was a song of great joy, written by King David after Jerusalem had been captured from the Jebusites (see 2 Samuel 5), and the tabernacle and ark had returned to the Holy City.

This is the city upon which God placed His name.  It is a special place marked by God as the center of the world.  It is the city God knew would ultimately be a stumbling block to the entire world.  Is it any wonder we are commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem?

We’ll take it verse-by-verse to mine the nuggets of God’s Word concerning this prayer this week, so stick with us!  Meanwhile, just do as the passage instructs: pray!  See you tomorrow!

Report: Egyptian brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel

Seemingly just prior to major Israeli military action, there is news of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. Once more, Hamas pushes Gaza to the brink of all-out war with Israel (in which Gaza would be utterly destroyed), only to have Egypt step in and save the day.

How long can this go on? What are the stipulations of the ceasefire agreement? What should happen the next time a fire kite, incendiary balloon or rocket from Gaza is launched? Those are key questions.

Pray for wisdom and for the evil schemes of Hamas to be thwarted.

Behold Israel

Following 180 rocket attacks from Gaza, ceasefire reportedly reached between Hamas and Israel; IAF confirms it hit over 150 targets in Gaza Strip since Wednesday; IDF: Hamas is responsible and  bears the consequences for the ongoing events.

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Reports surfaced of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on Thursday night following the recent two-day flare up of rocket attacks.

The Israel Air Force reported that it struck over 150 targets in the Gaza Strip since Wednesday evening when rocket attacks began. It’s strikes targeted “weapons storage, military compounds, training compounds, a building used by Hamas for military purposes, and terror cells.”

Over 180 rockets were fired at Israel with dozens of injuries and damages reported on southern communities in Israel. Around 30 of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome. Rockets hit Be’er Sheva on Thursday, the first rocket attack on the city since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

The…

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What is a Palestinian Rocket Attack Like?

iron dome

Iron Dome launches an interceptor missile. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Red AlertsOver 150 Palestinian rockets have been launched toward southern Israel over the past couple days.  Some were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, but thankfully, most fell in open territory.

Fortunately, I am not aware of any Israeli casualties, though there have been casualties in Gaza as a result of IDF strikes on multiple military targets.  It is believed the son of a senior Hamas commander was killed in one of the airstrikes.

You can follow live updates of the events in Gaza here.

On Wednesday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum tweeted: “We are delivering on our promise. The resistance accepted the responsibility to even the playing field with the enemy and it is succeeding in doing so.”  

Two things to know about the activity near the Gaza border.  First, neither Hamas nor the Palestinians in Gaza pose much of a national threat to Israel.  The IDF is far better equipped and capable than the Hamas military wing, and, if desired, Israel could wipe out the Gaza Strip in minutes.  Hamas is confident Israel will not do that, thus they take advantage of opportunities to terrorize Israel.

Secondly, though Israel is not threatened nationally, the terror endured by Israelis near the Gaza Strip is very real.  Most of us cannot imagine being under threat of rockets, fire kites, incendiary balloons, terror tunnels and just sheer terrorism from those who vow to wipe them out.  Here is live footage posted by the IDF:

 

This scenario plays out in various forms in dozens of cities near the Gaza Strip.  It is our responsibility to pray for those in need.  Why not take a moment right now to pray for those living in targeted areas.  Pray, also, for the Lord to thwart the plans of Hamas and others who devise evil plans, intent on destroying the Jewish people.