Thus says the LORD of hosts: behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.
This promise began to be fulfilled with the return of the Jews from Babylon and the slow resettling of Jerusalem. But God saw something much bigger than they were experiencing. He saw a city that was bustling with activity… a true metropolis filled with Jews who feared and followed Him. The Jerusalem of Zechariah and his contemporaries was more like a small frontier town. It had not fully re-established itself. That is why this promise came.
Of course, by the time of Jesus, Jerusalem was again an urban crossroads. It was so strategic that the Romans stationed troops there and administered its affairs. After Christ’s ascension, during the Feast of Pentecost, it was a world crossroads so cosmopolitan that the apostles were able to reach a cross-section of the entire Roman World and Near East with just one sermon in Acts 2. And despite two millennia of ups and downs, wars, occupations, and day-to-day life, Jerusalem is still at the center of attention for many in my world. It is a city holy to three major world religions. And it is still loved by God.
I pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The scriptures call us to do so. But I know that one day the Prince of Peace will fully rule from there. It remains a holy city, though with all the conflict and bombing, I’ll hold off my visit until Jesus takes over (see Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 20:4). Until then, and I mean this, you gotta love the Jews! God does!