Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Hello again folks! It's been a night of computer glitches for me so the blog that I was writing ["The Obama Factor"] will have to stay in draft form for another day or two [along with the others that eagerly await publishing!]. Today I want to share Psalm 137 with you:
"By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!" How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy. Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!" O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us - he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks." [Psalm 137:1-9]
I want to draw your attention to verses 5 & 6: "... If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy..."
The word "Jerusalem" is mentioned over 700 times in the KJV. The word "Jerusalem" is NOT mentioned at all in the koran. The above verses are atypical of the call to the Hebrews and Jews to remember [not forget] the place of the Divine habitation [the First and Second Temples]. I can personally testify to 'experiencing' a sense of awe when I visited the Wailing Wall last May ... and I am not the most experiential of people!
The disciple of God ... whether Jewish or Gentile ... is called to remember the centrality of Jerusalem to their faith. It is the pivotal place of end time eschatology. The Second Advent of the Lord [Messiah] Jesus [Yeshua] Christ will take place here ... he will plant His feet [again] on the Mount of Olives ... and soon.
This Psalm is a blessing. It is familiar for a variety of reasons. But, for me, it is importance of Jerusalem not only to God's people ... but also God Himself. Remember; True Christians are looking forward to the New Jerusalem ... and for good reason!
But just how significant is it that this place is not even mentioned in the islamic qu'ran ... although [at a stretch] it is claimed to be the third most holy site in islam after Medina and Mecca. It is interesting too that whilst so-called palestine [a name - based on the word 'philistinia' or 'philistine' - created by the Romans to insult the Jews] was under the Ottoman Empire [before the 1917 'Balfour Declaration']; the regional capital was Damascus!!! Jerusalem only became iconic in islam when the Jews were [lawfully and rightfully] given the land to return to that God had given them over 3,000 years earlier. Before that ... it was a forgotten city ... only remembered by ardent Jewish adherents. Mark Twain's book "The Innocents Abroad" paints a picture of desolation in this very land; he visited it in the 1870's.
The end time scenario centres about the land being divided [Judea-Samaria-Israel] in defiance of Joel 3:1-2 and Jerusalem being surrounded by her enemies. We would be wise to consider this Psalm and it implications. Before I sign off; another quote from another Psalm for you and I to consider and act upon:
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels." [Psalm 122:6-7]
Next blog: "The Obama Factor" God bless you and God bless Israel ... KJS ... 20-Jan-2009