August 23 2023
Today, Wednesday August 23
Jerusalem, The City of Peace
A Psalm of the sons of Korah. A song.
“His foundation is in the holy mountains. The LORD loves the gates of Zion More than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God! Selah
"I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me; Behold, O Philistia and Tyre, with Ethiopia: 'This one was born there.' " And of Zion it will be said, "This one and that one were born in her; And the Most High Himself shall establish her." The LORD will record, When He registers the peoples: "This one was born there." Selah
Both the singers and the players on instruments say, "All my springs are in you."
Psalm 87 is a song associated with the sons of Korah to be used in worship and celebration by the Jewish nation in the Holy City of Jerusalem located in the heart of Israel. This is a special place for anyone to visit. It would be considered a great privilege to live there or even to be buried. Jews today will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a plot in the Jewish cemetery, on the hillside of the Mount of Olives that faces Jerusalem, to bury their remains.
The city of Jerusalem is mentioned by name more than eight hundred times in the Bible. It stands where no city has any business standing. It has no river, it commands no strategic highway, its roads have always led straight out into the desert, and its topography is most unusual. Giant slopes of rocky outcrops divide one area from another. Its municipal confines are riven by ravines, pitted with rock tombs, and sliced up by valleys. Today it is a very difficult city to get around in. Interestingly, there is nothing physical or geographical appealing about the city itself, yet it is visited by over 4 million people a year.
God chose Jerusalem over all the cities of world to display His glory (vv. 1-3). The first mention of Jerusalem is in Genesis 14. After the battle of the kings, Abraham met Melchizedek, the king-priest of Salem, which is Jerusalem. Hebrews 7 informs us that Melchizedek is a type of Jesus Christ, our Priest-King in heaven.
The name Jerusalem means the “City of Peace”. Yet no city on earth has suffered more attacks, sacks, and sieges, more devastations and revivals than Jerusalem. Nine are mentioned in the Bible alone, but history records at least thirty-four instances of Jerusalem being besieged. Egyptians and Babylonians, Assyrians and Greeks, Parthians and Romans, Arabs and Europeans have all fought over Jerusalem.
David chose Jerusalem for his capital city (2 Sam. 5:6-10), and the Lord validated that choice by putting His temple there. The nation of Israel was to be separate from the other nations both politically (Num. 23:9) and geographically. That is why God called Jerusalem "my city" (Isa. 45:13) and "the holy city" (Isa. 48:2; 52:1) and Zion "my holy mountain" (Isa. 11:9; 56:7; 57:13). It is "the city of the great King, the joy of all the earth" (48:2).
Jerusalem is "His foundation" from which He has built His great work of redemption (Isa. 14:32.). "Salvation is of the Jews," said Jesus (John 4:22), and were it not for Israel, the world would not have the knowledge of the true and living God, the inspired Scriptures, or the Savior. Jesus died and rose again outside the walls of Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit descended on the church meeting in Jerusalem on Pentecost, and it was from Jerusalem that the early Jewish believers scattered to carry the Gospel to the nations.
The phrase "the gates of Zion" refers to the city itself, a city God loves above all cities in the Holy Land. (See Deut. 7:6-9; 2 Chron. 6:5-6; Isa. 60:11-12; Zech. 1:14.) In Jerusalem was not only the temple of the true God, but also the throne of David, and it would be the Davidic line that would give us the Savior, Jesus Christ.
In the end times, Jerusalem will be a center of controversy and conflict, but the Lord will rescue His beloved city (Zech. 12:1-13:1). But the prophets have written some "glorious things" about the future Jerusalem, and the apostles have written even more glorious things about the heavenly Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is indeed a special place that God loves (v. 2), and in Psalm 122:6 we told to, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you.” We should love and pray for it too!