IMG_2595Jerusalem is the ancient capital of Israel. Jerusalem appears in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) 669 times. The term “Zion” (which usually means Jerusalem) appears 154 times. The Christian Bible (New Testament) mentions Jerusalem 155 times and Zion 7 times.  In contrast to the Islamic Quran (which does not mentioned Jerusalem even once), Jerusalem is the jewel of Israel!  From the days of David through 2nd Temple history, Jerusalem is the hallowed center of faith!
For the last number of decades (but really since the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel in 1948), we continue hearing on the “news” of the importance of an undivided Jerusalem.  While the Israeli – Palestinian debate continues, for anyone who has visited Jerusalem and understands the geography of the city, it is quite clear of how special Jerusalem really is, especially to God’s historic people.  It is also quite clear just how “un-dividable” Jerusalem really is!
Psalm 125 gives us a geographical hint of the location of Jerusalem.  Psalm 125:1-2 says, “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.”  For those who have joined any of my tours, we even sing a song about it.  But the song, taught by Shlomo our guide, reminds us not only of the location of Jerusalem in proximity of the surrounding landscape, but more importantly the song serves as a commentary of God’s protective hand upon this city. Just as God historically surrounded Jerusalem and His people with His presence, He continues to bless His people today.
Jerusalem, Mt. of OlivesMost evidently, this is seen in the rebirth of the city. It continues to grow and expand.  It continues to welcome all to live peacefully within her walls.  It continues to be the spiritual capital for the many Christians and Jews who make pilgrim.  As for the Muslims, while the Dome of the Rock stands on the Temple Mount of old, they have been misguided for over a millennia concerning the significance of Jerusalem. They seem to be guided by their political desires to eradicate anything “Jewish” about Jerusalem rather than for spiritual reasons. In fact, this has been clearly seen in the complete desecration of the Temple Mount.  Since the early-mid 2000s, literally 100s of truck-fills of dirt and debris has been carelessly removed from the Temple Mount in the process of building their own underground mosque on the southern end of the Temple Mount itself. Indeed, a crying shame!
But Jerusalem continues to be special to so many. As it is said, “People go to Tel Aviv to play, but to Jerusalem to pray.” Truth is, many people continue to pray the prayer mentioned in Psalm 122:1 – “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May those who love you be secure.”  Please continue to pray with me.  And while we pray, please know that lasting peace will not be experienced until Jesus returns and establishes His throne!
IMG_2605I invite you to watch a great video on the topic of Jerusalem.  You can view the video HERE. In fact, an Orthodox Jew and citizen of Jerusalem, Moshe Kempinski, is featured on the video.  Along with his brother, Dov, Moshe owns a shop within the Jewish Quarter of the Old City called SHORASHIM. Moshe regularly talks with 4-5 Christian groups each day, sharing about his Jewish faith in comparison to our Christian faith.  We visit Moshe on every trip, and it is one of the highlights of the tour for many!
If you have a desire to experience Jerusalem personally, I invite you to join one of my study tours to Israel.  Unlike many other tours, each trip I lead aims to offer in-depth insights and unique encounters.  A trip to Israel is a spiritual investment and a life-changing experience!

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