May 26, 2016

Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

This line is justly famous, or perhaps not famous enough. Far too many Christians fail to see their connection to the physical descendants of Abraham, and some even harbor enmity toward them. That is tragic, and is a work of the devil. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, dealt with this issue a great deal in several of his letters, most extensively in Romans 9 through 11. As he knew from personal experience, physical descendants of Abraham need to repent and believe in order to be saved, just as Gentiles do, but that in no way negates the unique place of the Jewish people in God’s plan of the ages. I would not judge someone’s salvation by their attitude toward the Jews and the nation of Israel, but I would certainly evaluate their ability to hear the heart of God that way. People who fail to honor Israel forget that Jesus was a Jew! What follows this command in this Psalm is an example of how to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Not only are there things to pray for, but motives are touched on as well. We are to pray blessing on Jerusalem, and by extension the Jewish nation and people, for the sake of our brothers and friends, and for the sake of the house of the Lord. That covers both the First and the Second Commandments, as Jesus listed them. (Matthew 22:37-40) That’s because, for David and his descendants at any rate, the house of the Lord was the manifestation of His presence, so loving His house was essentially the same as loving Him. (I could branch off at this point into our being the house of the Lord, [1 Corinthians 6:19] but that would be quite a digression.) What many Gentile Christians have trouble with is grasping that Jews are our brothers and friends. Brothers don’t always do what we might want them to do, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are our brothers! Anyone who truly seeks the heart of God is going to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. That certainly includes the Jewish people recognizing and acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, but it is not limited to that. They need physical peace in order to have the opportunity to believe!

I could obviously go on at quite a length about this, because I feel strongly about it and because I am convinced the entirety of the Bible backs it up. At the same time, I have not been active in any “support Israel” groups. Frankly, I’m not sure why not. I do know that I am convinced that God’s plan includes the Jewish people, so any time I pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,” I am aware that I am praying for the peace of Jerusalem. I minister in Japan, and I have said many times that the Japanese sense of racial/national identity is most comparable to that of the Jews, in strength and in various other ways. I have had the immense privilege of interpreting for Benjamin Berger here in Japan. It was a joy indeed to be a channel for the good news of the Messiah to come from a Levite to the Japanese people. I don’t know what part God has for me to play in His plan of the ages, and I have never even been to Israel, but like Paul, I know that the Jews will certainly not be left out when God brings everything to consummation.

Father, this surprised me a little. You have kept me aware of this issue over the years, but it’s not usually in the forefront of my thoughts. May I be available at all times for however You want to use me, whether in words or in action, so that indeed, Your Name may be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done perfectly, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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