In this third and final part of looking at the city of Jerusalem and the land of Israel, we’ll look at the spiritual aspect of this holy city. We looked at the land itself in part 1, the geography, animals, and plants. In Part 2 we looked at the political entity that is today’s Israel. Now let’s see what God has in store for the city where He placed His name!
I had said in the introduction that in listening to John MacArthur preach through Zechariah, I have been encouraged, astounded, and blessed as the meaning of that tremendous book opens my mind in awe of God. In one of the sermons he preached about “The Future Glory of Jerusalem“, and it swept me away so completely that I decided to do this three-part series. Here is a small snippet of what he preached. I encourage you to listen in its entirety
Let me give you a little fast history, hang on. It first appears in Scripture as the city of Salem, ruled by a man by the name of Melchizedek. In Genesis 14 he is called the king of Salem. Most people assume the name Jerusalem or Salem comes from the Hebrew shalom, which means peace. Twenty centuries before Christ it existed as the city of Salem. The next time we see Jerusalem in history it appears as a Canaanite stronghold with an allegiance to Egypt. Soon after that we see it in reference to Joshua. This is 600 years after the Genesis record or 1400 years before Christ. Joshua in Chapter 10 sets his sights on this city as he conquers Canaan. And in Chapter 15 Joshua says that this territory, including this city, has been given to Judah when the land was divided among the tribes. But even though it was 1400 years before Christ that the city was said to belong to Judah, it wasn’t until 1003 B.C. that David stormed Jerusalem, which was then a fortress of the people called the Jebusites and according to II Samuel 5, David took the city, which was later to bear the name the city of David. The city never really became much under David. It wasn’t until David’s brilliant son, Solomon, that Jerusalem reached its golden age.
And under Solomon the wall was extended, an incredible palace was built, an amazing and marvelous wonder of the world the temple was accomplished, and Jerusalem became something astonishing, something astounding. But after Solomon the ages that flowed on brought no comparable glory to Jerusalem and by 586 B.C. or about 400 years after Solomon, the city was a rubble, destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Nehemiah went back and rebuilt it but it remained rather insignificant from then on. Finally in 70 A.D. after the birth of Jesus Christ some 70 years the city was wiped out again and destroyed by the Roman army, as we saw last week. Jerusalem arose rather meekly from the ashes a little after 70 A.D., but by 132 A.D. whatever was left was crushed by the Emperor Hadrian from Rome. And until modern times even in our modern era Jerusalem has been kicked back and forth between the Turks and the Christian nations, the Moslems and the Christians kicking it back and forth.
And finally in our generation the marvelous rebirth of the state of Israel has occurred, a miracle of sociology, a miracle of the perpetuity of a race of human beings. I dare say nobody has ever met a Jebusite, a Hivite, a Amorite, a Moabite or a Edomite, or any other -ite around the Bible, but we sure have Israelites because God has preserved them in their own land. They’ve come back, but the hold it very tenuously don’t they, surrounded by enemies. In fact surrounded on every side of them that is land they are locked in with literally bloodthirsty enemies and their hold is tenuous and they are always on the edge of war. Incredible as it is from Melchizedek in the fourteenth chapter of Genesis to 1977, the story of Jerusalem weaves its way through history. Cities come and go but not that city, it just continues. The city of Melchizedek, the city of David, the city of Christ, the city of Paul, the city of Salidine, the city of General Allenby, the city of Ben Guion, the city of Moshe Dayan, it is ever the perpetual city and someday it’ll be the city of the seat of David, the Lord Jesus Christ yet again.
This final chapter hasn’t been written. It’s final hero hasn’t arrived yet, but He will. For about 2,000 years now the Jews have been going to the Wailing Wall at one point or another to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to plead with God to send a deliverer and break Gentile power.
When God decides the timing is right for that to happen it will be stupendous! During the Tribulation the glorious city will be trodden into the mud. It will become so perverse that it will be called metaphorical Sodom and Egypt. (Revelation 11:8). Both Sodom and Egypt were known for oppression, perversity, and sin. Armies will circle around the city (Luke 21:20). The Gentiles will trample it. (Luke 21:24). An earthquake will split it into three parts and 7,000 will die (Revelation 11:13, Revelation 16:19). Jerusalem is going to have a rough, rough time.
But we cannot leave it like that.
The Lord chose this city for His name. He endowed it with His presence. (Luke 2:9). He chose to be crucified there. And when he returns, it will be to JERUSALEM!!
“And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:4)”.
And He will change the topography of the area to raise up Jerusalem!
It shall come to pass in that day
That there will be no light;
The lights will diminish.
7 It shall be one day
Which is known to the Lord—
Neither day nor night.
But at evening time it shall happen
That it will be light.
8 And in that day it shall be
That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem,
Half of them toward the eastern sea
And half of them toward the western sea;
In both summer and winter it shall occur.
9 And the Lord shall be King over all the earth.
In that day it shall be—
“The Lord is one,”
And His name one.
10 All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses.” (Zechariah 14:6-10).
Ezekiel 47 parallels the scene. It is tremendous. Please go read it. It is too long to put here. But the Middletown Bible Church of Middletown CT has put up a page with a drawing in addition to a biblical essay about Jerusalem’s final position. They write,
“In Zechariah 14:8 we learn that half of this river will empty into the Dead Sea and half of the river will empty into the Mediterranean Sea. This river is also mentioned in Psalm 46:4 (and notice the context in Psalm 46:9-10 which clearly speaks of the kingdom).”
Jerusalem! The LORD is there. (Ezekiel 48:35). How close is the time for Jerusalem to be inhabited safely (Zechariah 14:11) and the glorious city and temple to be glowing with the manifested presence of God who is Jesus in the flesh? I do not know, but when it happens, it will be mercy…He promises mercy…
“Therefore thus said the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, said the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth on Jerusalem. 17Cry yet, saying, Thus said the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.” (Zechariah 1:16-17)
IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT!!!!!!!!!!