Preparation Day -7 (6/1) Psalm 122
1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD."
2 Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together.
4 That is where the tribes go up— the tribes of the LORD—
to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.
5 There stand the thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels."
8 For the sake of my friends and of all the people, I will say, "Peace be within you."
9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.
(Damascus Gate- and Beautiful/Golden Gate- now plugged. Jesus used the Beautiful Gate often).
This is a Psalm of rejoicing for the pilgrims who finally arrive in Jerusalem. They are marveling about Jerusalem- the way the houses are close together, and the wonder of finally being in the gates of the Holy City. The gates were the place for the judgment thrones. For those of us not there yet, standing in the gates of Jerusalem is something to look forward to. A second theme is here- it is to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Jerusalem (literally the city of peace) has often been a city in conflict. Caleb conquered it in about 1300 B.C. David Conquered it about 1050 B.C. The Egyptians, Syrians, Greeks sacked it. It has been destroyed twice: by the Babylonians in 561 B.C. and the Romans in 70 A.D. Overall, Jerusalem has been besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638. Crusaders in 1099. The Muslims under Saladdin re-conquered it in 1167. In 1917 Ottomon rule of Jerusalem ended and British rule began. In 1948 the State of Israel began. In 1967 during the six-day war, the Jews gained control of all of Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been involved in many wars by some of the world’s greatest powers. Jesus talked about its being at the center of the last great war (Armageddon) at the end of history. This week there is tension over Gaza- it is a good time to pray. So, we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for Jerusalem’s peace often means the peace of the world.
Prayer: Lord, we look forward to standing in the gates of Jerusalem. We pray for a peaceful trip, and for the peace of Jerusalem.