Shalom and greetings to you all from the beautiful Mount of Blessing in Samaria, the biblical heartland of Israel. Psalm 132: 13 says, “…the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: 14 “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”
Zechariah chapter 8:2 says, “I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor, I am zealous for her.”
Did you catch that? Almighty God, creator of Heaven and Earth, has chosen and is greatly, fervently zealous about one particular, tiny piece of real estate! But wait! Does God show favoritism? God created the whole world; why would He want to choose one particular place?
Think about it this way. If you wanted to accomplish a large, world-changing task, what would you do? One of the first things you would need to do is bring together a team. That team needs to come together in a particular location in order to be effective. That’s why the military has a command center. That’s why organizations have meeting and conference rooms. If a restaurant manager said, “let’s meet at 9:00 AM so we can go over the plan, and start making the best food the world has ever seen,” but then neglected to tell them where to meet, and where they were going to deliver their product, the product would not get delivered to the people, the purpose would not be fulfilled, and the mission would not get accomplished. In order to be effective, you must choose a meeting place!
With that in mind, we can now answer the favoritism question. God has a world-changing task that He wants to accomplish. He wants to redeem the entire world. No, He did not choose Israel out of favoritism! He chose Israel for the benefit of all humanity. Jerusalem is God’s grand central station! It is where He has decided to set up His main office.
In Genesis 12, God tells Abraham that He will make him a great nation, give him a specific land, and through him, all the families of the earth will be blessed. So, right off the bat, we see that God’s plan includes a grand central station that impacts the rest of the world for good.
Isaiah chapter 56:6 speaks about foreigners – non-Jews – who choose to serve the God of Israel. God says He will bring them to Jerusalem and make them joyful in His house of prayer. Then in verse 7 He says, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
Many years later, Jesus went up to the Temple. When he arrived, he saw that the people who sold items for worshiping God in the Temple had moved into the court of the Gentiles. The court of the Gentiles was the space designated for all nations to come and pray. So Jesus made a whip, turned over the tables, and drove the people selling things back down to where they should be, quoting Isaiah in the process: “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations!”
Jesus affirmed that Jerusalem is His grand central station and that one day all the nations will come up to pray in Jerusalem.
Speaking of the Jewish people, Paul says in Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” God’s plan for the literal, physical land and people of Israel are just as relevant today as they ever were.
I believe it is time for all Christians to acknowledge the place that God has chosen. To align with His plans and purposes. To turn our hearts, the hearts of our families, and our congregations to begin facing Jerusalem, the city of our God.
When we face Jerusalem, we better understand and embrace the Genesis 12 blessings, the Isaiah 60 light, and the Isaiah 2 instruction that God purposely designed to emanate from Zion, His grand central station out to the four corners of the earth.