THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
#05-1139
Did Peace Come to Jerusalem?
July 29, 2011
(6) Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. (7) "May peace be within
your walls, and prosperity within your palaces." (8) For the sake of my brothers and my friends,
I will now say, "May peace be within you." (Psalm 122:6-8 NASB)
Today, many Christians cite David's psalm as their reason for crying out: "We must pray for the peace
of Jerusalem." There is nothing wrong with praying for the peace of the present-day Jerusalem or, for
that matter, for the peace of any city of the world today. After all, blessed are the peacemakers, for
they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9). As a reminder, the sons of God will be New
Jerusalem in the age to come and beyond.
It is safe to state that many Christians, especially evangelicals, are praying for the present earthly
Jerusalem and not New Jerusalem. In fact, many add to this cry: "We must stand with Israel (i.e.,
modern-day nation on the ancient land of Canaan), for they are God's chosen people, and if we don't
stand with them, God will judge us."
Of late, this prayer has intensified among Christians, especially as John Hagee and Glenn Beck have
joined forces in their support of modern-day Israel and as this Jewish-Edomite state is being pressed
on all sides as the whole region becomes a tinder box.
Mind you, they are praying for a city that has rejected Jesus as Messiah and the King of Judah and that
Paul declared must be cast out as an Ishmaelite, for our city is above and she is free, not in bondage
(Galatians 4:21-31). If we are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I contend we should be praying for
the holy, heavenly city of God that Abraham sought and that will come down out of heaven, not the
bloody, great city on earth that is mystically called Sodom and Egypt, where the Lord was crucified
(Ezekiel 7:23; 22:2; 24:6, 9; Revelation 11:8).
Nevertheless, I want to approach this matter from another angle, as implied by the title of this issue.
Was David's prayer answered? Did peace ever come to ancient Jerusalem, a peace that would have
answered to David's heart? Yes! Let us consider the reason for this answer.
"Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD, "Israel is My son, My firstborn." (Exodus
4:22 NASB)
The people descended of Jacob were collectively identified by the Lord as His first-born son. As a
chosen people, they were called forth from Egypt by the Lord, called to be a kingdom nation that would
be a blessing to all the nations on earth and be an expression of His glory so that all the peoples of
the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else (1 Kings 8:60).
For a long time I thought that they failed to become this great nation, but after studying a little of the
history of the kingdom of David-Solomon, I realize that I have been wrong in this view. The fact of the
matter is that David's prayer was answered during Solomon's reign. David began to build the greatness
of the Israelite kingdom. It was in David's heart to build God's house, but due to his involvement in
much shedding of blood and the waging of wars, the Lord would not allow him to build.
(7) David said to Solomon, "My son, I had intended to build a house to the name of the LORD my
God. (8) "But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'You have shed much blood and have
waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much
blood on the earth before Me. (1 Chronicles 22:7-8 NASB)
Instead, the mantle was passed to David's son Solomon, who would live in peace.
(9) Behold, a son is being born to you; he shall be a man of rest, and I will give him rest from all
his enemies round about. Indeed, Solomon shall be his name, and peace and quiet shall I grant
Israel in his days. (10) It is he who shall build the House for My Name, and he shall be to Me like
a son, and I for him like a father. I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for the
eon. (1 Chronicles 22:9-10 CV)
Under Solomon's reign, true greatness was achieved in fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob (Genesis 13:16-17; 22:17; 28:14; 32:12). Consider these few verses.
(20) Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance; they
were eating and drinking and rejoicing. (21) Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the
River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served
Solomon all the days of his life. (1 Kings 4:20-21 NASB)
(24) For he had dominion over everything west of the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all
the kings west of the River; and he had peace on all sides around about him. (25) So Judah and
Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all
the days of Solomon. (1 Kings 4:24-25 NASB)
Consequently, they came into the inheritance of the land, along with all its abundance and greatness.
The Queen of Sheba was breathless when she saw the wisdom of Solomon and all that he had done (2
Chronicles 9:1-8). However, there was one more indication of this greatness―the house of the Lord.
(3) "You know that David my father was unable to build a house for the name of the LORD his
God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the LORD put them under the soles of his
feet. (4) "But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary
nor misfortune. (5) "Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the
LORD spoke to David my father, saying, 'Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place,
he will build the house for My name.' (1 Kings 5:3-5 NASB)
And so, Solomon indeed built a house for the Lord that not only had His name upon it but was also
filled with His glory.
(1) Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the
burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the house. (2) The priests
could not enter into the house of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD'S
house. (3) All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the
house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and
gave praise to the LORD, saying, "Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting." (2
Chronicles 7:1-3 NASB)
Truly, the fulfillment of the promises of greatness given to ancient Israel and Jerusalem began with
David but were fully manifested during the reign of Solomon. This is fully supported by the historical
record that reveals that the greatness and influence of Solomon's kingdom stretched around the world,
as far as the British Isles and even to the North American continent.
In other words, the ancient first-born sons of God that made up the twelve tribes identified as Judah
(two tribes) and Israel (ten tribes) and united into one kingdom under Solomon were truly blessed as a
chosen people, at least for a season, and had come into their inheritance on the Promised Land. Peace
and rest had finally come to the ones called out of Egypt to live on a land promised to Abraham.
The peace of Jerusalem had come in answer to David's prayer.
The Upward Call: #05-1139
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by: Stuart H. Pouliot