Jerusalem: The Eternal Capital of Israel

Argument abounds regarding the legitimacy of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Though David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom about 1,000 years before Christ, parts of the Old City, including Temple Mount, fell into Muslim control during modern history.

In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel recaptured Temple Mount and reunited Jerusalem. Despite that victory, Israel (in the interest of peace) allowed Temple Mount to remain under Jordanian control, and a very large Muslim quarter is still entrenched inside the walls of the Old City.

Regardless, there has been Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3,000 years and every logical sign points to the fact that Jerusalem was and is a Jewish city…the eternal capital of the Jewish state, Israel.

Consider these facts, then decide for yourself whether or not Jerusalem is indeed the capital of the Jewish homeland:

Celebrating the Birth of a Jewish Carpenter: Born with a Purpose

Tis the season!  We recently commemorated the Jewish Festival of Lights (Hanukkah), and as believers, we know that Jesus Himself is the Light of the World (John 8:12, John 9:5). Our sights now turn toward Christmas and the celebration of the birth of our Savior who is Christ the Lord.

But let’s get practical for a few days to consider some physical facts about Jesus’ birth and humanness.  Perhaps we forget that Jesus was physically born into this world just as we were, and faced the same challenges that we face.  True, He was sinless and we are not, but that does not change the fact He was fully man as well as fully God.

Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55 clearly identify Jesus as a carpenter, and the son of a carpenter.  Some would dispute that fact, arguing that the Greek word tekton, translated “carpenter,”could mean something different, such as “stone mason.”  It is not a salvation issue, so I prefer not to be dogmatic.  However, a widely accepted definition of tekton is “artisan”or “craftsman.”  While not divinely inspired, early historical writings also distinguish Jesus as an apprentice woodworking craftsman of His earthly father, Joseph.   Together, they made things such as ploughs and yokes out of wood.

Why is it important that Jesus was a tekton?  Because God the Father had a specific earthly purpose for His Son, Jesus!  He was certainly not the only Bible character whose vocational training fit perfectly with what God called them to do.  For example:

  • Elisha – He was plowing a field when Elijah called him into ministry (1 Kings 19).  Plowing entails removing rocks, planting seeds and bringing about growth…which is exactly what Elisha was called to do!
  • Gideon – While separating wheat from chaff, God called him to “weed out” his army (Judges 7), then sift Israel’s enemies.  His vocation prepared him for the purpose God had for him.
  • David – A lowly shepherd boy, tending sheep in a hostile environment (1 Samuel 17).  He fought wild beasts,protected the flock, cared for them, and ultimately used his skills to slay a giant.  What perfect training for the calling God had on his life!
  • The disciples – Many were fishermen, and you know the analogy!  Some of Jesus’ great miracles had to do with miraculous catches of fish. They would become miraculous fishers of men, and thousands would come to faith as their vocation had prepared them!

Likewise, Jesus was born with a purpose and God the Father knew exactly in what “vocation” His Son would be raised to excellence!  In a manger in the city of David, a Savior was born, and we celebrate the birth of that carpenter’s son as Jesus, our Savior and King!

I hope you’ll stick around over the next few days as we look at what Scripture says about Jesus and the vocation prepared for Him by His Father.

See you tomorrow!

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: A Brief Overview

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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!

Jesus: David’s Offspring

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Ok, here we go, gang!  More cool stuff today.  Have you enjoyed this week’s study so far?  It is my favorite (until next week)!  Seriously, we are discovering incredible things about God’s covenants, and their fulfillment in the ultimate one: the Davidic Covenant.

How will Jesus fulfill His ultimate purpose?  Well, let’s consider what Scripture has to say!  Open your Bible to Mathew 16:15-17 and Luke 22:66-71.  Do you find seemingly contradictory terms for Jesus?  (Son of man/Son of God)

Now let’s  complicate it just a tiny bit more.  Who does Jesus say He is in Revelation 22:16?  Yes!  He is the Root and Offspring of David, and He will come to introduce the Davidic Covenant.  He is also coming to reign forever!

Is David a forerunner of Christ?  We find interesting parallels in 2 Samuel 19, such as David lamenting the death of his son Absalom in battle.  The victory was won, but a son was lost.  (Sound familiar!?!)  Joab came to David and told him to face the people, but when he did, they rejected him…right there in the City of David.

So, grief drove David from the city, over the Mount of Olives where he wept.  Jesus was also rejected in the holy city of Jerusalem, and grief also drove Him to the Mount of Olives where he also wept.  In David’s case, the people scattered to their homes and were left kingless.  Likewise, in Jesus’ case, the people were scattered (70 AD) and left without a king.

David did not return until he was invited back by his people.  Amazingly, Jesus will not return until He is invited back by His people!  Israel has come home, but they haven’t invited King Jesus to return!

In 2 Samuel 19:12, David asks his people, “Why are you the last to bring me home?”  Is it far-fetched to believe Jesus is asking the same thing?

Once invited, the Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled!  We know this as the Messianic Age, the Millennial Kingdom and/or the Feast of Tabernacles.  At that time:

  • Jesus will reign from Jerusalem
  • Nations will come to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Jeremiah 3:17, Zechariah 14:16)
  • God will bring His eternal purpose to conclusion
  • Israel’s spiritual recovery will finally follow their physical recovery!

But, we’re still awaiting one key thing to trigger that!  Come back tomorrow and we’ll dive right in the middle of it!