For Zion’s Sake – October 2018

Indeed, we have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!  Having just celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles, we are reminded of the ultimate victory and the reign of King Jesus in the Millennial Kingdom, and for all eternity!

But meanwhile, we’ve got work to do, dear believers!  We are to be about the Father’s business until He sends His Son to redeem us from this world.  The Father’s business is different for each of us, but there is at least one thing we are ALL commanded to do: pray!

That is what the Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative is all about! On the first Wednesday of every month, faithful Christians from all over the world participate in one of the largest prayer initiatives in the world!  On that day, fellow believers who love Israel are praying specifically for the needs of the land, and for the people, using one verse of Isaiah 62 as a guide.  For those of us on the Gregorian calendar, October is the 10th month, therefore, we are looking at verse 10 as our key verse.  Today is the day, dear friends, so let’s get going!

PRAISE: Lord, thank You that You include us in Your glorious plan for Israel.  We respond to Your call to action and we give You praise for the work You will do both in us and for Jerusalem. Thank You for Your redemptive work.  Amen.

PROCLAIM:
Go through, go through the gates,
Clear the way for the people;
Build up, build up the highway,
Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.
~Isaiah 62:10

PONDER: There is work for the watchmen to do.  The prayers, attitudes and actions of the watchmen help create a thoroughfare for God’s promises to freely move.  There are gates to go through, a way to be prepared, a highway to build, stone to take out and a banner to be lifted up.  For the Christian, this work involves removing the crushing stone of 2000 years of antisemitism.  We must earn a right to our voice, we must recognize and rectify the harm that has been done in the name of Christ, and we must demonstrate the true face of Jesus the Messiah to the Jewish people.  Israel must know that there is a people who will sacrifice for them – us!  Lord, we pray that we are worthy of this work.

PRAY:  You will find specific prayer points for this month here.  Please pray accordingly!

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: Verses 8-9

PFTPOJ

What a week we have had together!  I pray you are blessed by what we’ve discovered about Psalm 122.  God has given us the command to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but one of the questions I hear frequently is:  How do I do that, short of just repeating the same ‘ol prayer day after day?  As we dig deep, we learn deeper ways to pray!  I hope you’ll dig into God’s Word in many places and allow it to guide your prayer time.

Time to focus on the last two verses of Psalm 122:

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.

This psalm ends with a bang, but let’s discover more about these verses.  Just as discussed previously, there is a theme of friendship and companionship.  In studying verse 6, we learned that Jerusalem has a “friend/companion,” and now we find the theme of togetherness emphasized yet again.

While Jerusalem is supposed to be a city of unity, today it is a city that creates global division….opposite of God’s stated desire.  But when Jesus comes again, God’s purpose will be fulfilled and Jerusalem will become a place of vibrant reconciliation between God and man, and between people.  That, my friends, is what the Feast of Tabernacles is all about!

So, as we pray for peace, we may petition God for redemption of broken relationships between Arabs and Jews, as well as between factions of all sorts.  We can pray for healing and restoration, and that all will seek the good of others.  Let us not forget there is a heavenly Jerusalem from which our King will one day reign!

Pray for that day to arrive, but also pray for the Prince of Peace to bring lasting peace in the hearts and souls of Jews, Arabs and people of all nationalities and religious beliefs.  We all have the same need: Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace!

Shabbat Shalom, friends!

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122: Verses 6-7

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Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
“May peace be within your walls,
And prosperity within your palaces.”
~Psalm 122:6-7

There’s the direct command!  We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

Most know that “peace,” in Hebrew, is “shalom.”  But are you aware that “shalom” has multiple meanings?  Indeed, it is also “hello” and “good bye,” as well as a popular greeting in Hebrew if you are in Israel and simply don’t know what to say!

But interestingly, “shalom” also means “complete,” which is very significant.  It carries the notion of well-being and contains the idea of “paid for.”  Indeed, the name Jerusalem means something like, “God will see to / provide complete and paid-for peace.”  (See here.)  Wow!

We are told to pray for Jerusalem, and we long to see completeness and absence of strife.  But, are there other forms of peace for which we might pray?  I believe so!  Inner peace with God, and peace with one another are Biblical notions.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
~Romans 5:1

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
~Philippians 4:7

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
~Romans 12:18

Let’s seek that peace, and pray that peace for Jerusalem.

We’re moving on to verses 8-9 tomorrow, so join us then!

A Deeper Look at Psalm 122:4-5

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Are you enjoying our study of Psalm 122?  Wow, there are so many nuggets in God’s Word, and we are rich who choose to mine those nuggets!  We’re studying Psalm 122 because we are given a specific command there to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  I want to understand God’s command, how about you!?!

We’re moving on to verses 4-5 today, so if you have missed our look at the beginning of the chapter, review previous posts of the past three days.

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.

Israel was divided into tribes (Judah, Ephraim, Dan, etc), yet Jerusalem was accessible to all!  In fact, every adult Hebrew capable of travel journeyed to Jerusalem three times a year to observe the feasts.  Just as all tribes came in ancient times, Jerusalem is still known as an international city, still accessible to all.

It is said the Jerusalem Talmud (Hagigah 2,6) calls Jerusalem a city that “makes all Israel friends.”  What makes Jerusalem special?  Why is it the city can make all Israel friends?  Because it belongs to all…Jews, Arabs and people all over the world!

As Christians, it is our Holy City!  Have you prayed for your Holy City today?  Why not now?

We’ll move on to the meat of the chapter tomorrow, so I’ll see you then!