The Bible Tells Us To Pray For The Peace Of Jerusalem

For Christians, local news, world news, future trends and lessons from the past are all important. But above all the news from the Middle East is especially important.



The Bible tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem

The Prophet Isaiah predicts a great and important future for this key city -

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance - Isaiah 66: 10 & 11

There are many great capital cities in the world, but in the eyes of God, the key city of all has been, is, and will be Jerusalem. It is here where all the great prophecies have been fulfilled in the past and shall be fulfilled in the future.

Jeremiah prophesied that the city would be destroyed along with the great Temple of Solomon because of the wickedness and the idolatry of the Israelites, and it was ruined completely by Nebuconezer king of Babylon; who then took the people captive to his country.

After 70 years of exile the Israelites, through the changed political outlook of the Persian Kings, and as had been prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah, returned from exile to a ruined city full of rubble. Nevertheless, they rebuilt the Temple in the face of great local opposition.

It was a poor building in comparison with Solomon’s great temple that Nebuconezer had destroyed, and some elderly men who remembered it wept. But God blessed the new temple and the people for he saw their sincerity and their repentance for the idolatry of their forefathers, and he said to them through the prophet Haggai -

‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty.

‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty - Haggai 2: 9


Its glory would be greater than that of Solomon’s Temple because Jesus himself, centuries later, would come to this Temple as the Messiah of the Jews and Saviour of the world. By that time it would be greatly enlarged and be considered one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Nevertheless, a changed attitude and a sincere heart is more important to God that rituals, ceremonies and religious buildings - The prophet Micah tells us in few words what pleases God -

He has showed you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God - Micah 6: 8

All the paraphernalia of the religious world is an abomination in the eyes of God, for it is worshipping and reverencing what man has made, from the raw materials that God created.

When Jesus met a Samaritan woman beside a well, he declared to her -

"Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and is now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth" - John 4: 21 to 24

Worshipping and reverencing man made images is not worshipping in spirit and in truth, its idolatry. The Bible often denounces idolatry both in the old and New Testament -

The prophet Isaiah clearly denounces idolatry and gives the reason why -

To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare him to? As for an idol, a craftsman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. A man too poor to present such an offing selects wood that will not rot. He looks for a skilled craftsman to set up an idol that will not topple.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told to you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth - - he stretches out the heavens like a canopy and spreads them like a tent to live in - - "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great powers and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40: 18 to 26

the church of the good shepherd
The New Testament is equally emphatic about idolatry -

Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone - an image made by man’s design and skill - Acts 17: 29

And it clearly shows what idolatry eventually brings about -

Men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion - Romans 1: 20 to 27

We see all these controversies, together with the question of creation, the Middle East situation and the spread of the Ebola virus daily on the television and in the newspapers. All this declares, and has been declaring for years, that the end of the era is near and the Lord Jesus Christ will come to rapture his church, which with all its faults, is the last restraining influence in the world against evil. Therefore, there is more need than ever to pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

The Cross of Christ was not meant to be carried through the streets; Jesus himself tells us what it means to carry the cross -

Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me - What good will I do for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done -Matthew 16: 24 to 27

The cross means death to the old sinful life followed by resurrection to a new and different life, lived out by following Christ.

The apostle Paul puts it this way -

I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life that I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me - Galatians 2: 20

Taking up your cross is so fundamental and far - reaching that it makes everything new - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God - 2 Corinthians 5: 17

Jesus Christ died in agony on the Cross that you might be saved and have eternal life. In the light of the chaotic world situation the time of God’s grace is short.

Come to Christ now! Take up your cross and follow him to eternity and the Holy City, the New Jerusalem that is to come down out of heaven from God - see Revelation 21: 1 to 5

Many Blessings!
Pastor Gordon Guillermo Burgess

Facebook: Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd