Land of God’s Choosing
“For the LORD will not abandon His people,
Nor will He forsake
His inheritance.” -Psalm 94
The history of Israel and the Jewish people has developed over 35 centuries. The Bible records the first thousand years of this history, during which the Jews developed a cultural, national and religious identity within the Land of Israel. Although the Jewish people have been dispersed all around the world, there has always been a Jewish presence in Israel.
Even those living in other nations never forgot their roots or the land God promised their forefathers. In 1948, 2,000 years after the Jews were forced from their homeland, Israel once again became an official Jewish State. For thousands of years the Jews have been trickling back to their homeland from over 70 countries, and now it is a patchwork of multiethnic communities living side by side.
Over the past 50 years, the population of Israel has grown seven fold. The 6.2 million inhabitants are made up of people from every ethnic background, religion and lifestyle. Jews comprise about 78% of the population, and non-Jewish people, mostly Arabs, number about 22%.
"O house of Israel, bless the LORD; O house of Aaron, bless the LORD; O house of Levi, bless the LORD; You who revere the LORD, bless the LORD. Blessed be the LORD from Zion, Who dwells in Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!" Psalm 135:19-21
Pray for Jerusalem
for he who touches you,
apple of His eye. -Zec.2:8
On your walls, O Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen; All day and all night they will never keep silent. You who remind the LORD, take no rest for yourselves; And give Him no rest until He establishes And makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Is.62:6-7
Jerusalem, Israel’s capital (population 657,500), has stood at the center of the Jewish people’s national and spiritual life since King David made it the capital of his kingdom some 3000 years ago. Today it is the seat of the government and Israel’s largest city.
With 3,000 years of history behind it, Jerusalem is now thrust to the center of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The epicenter of the conflict lies in Jerusalem and more specifically on the Temple Mount in the Old City. The Jews of Israel are locked in a conflict with their Palestinian Arab neighbors.
Although the Temple hasn’t stood for almost 2,000 years, Jerusalem continues to be the focus of the Jewish world. The Temple may not be there, but Jews believe that the intrinsic holiness of the site always remains.
In fact, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is one of the most revered and contested pieces of land in the world. Muslems call the site Hareem al-Sharef. It’s where the Al Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located. To Jews, it is the place where Kings Solomon and Herod built the first and second Temples: the holiest place in the Jewish religion. Jewish tradition also maintains that in the End of Days, during the Messianic Era, a third and final Temple will be built on Mount Moriah.
(sources:Rabbi Ken Spiro, article, Jerusalem…Jewish and Muslim claims to the Holy City; Chris Mitchell, article, Trouble at the Temple Mount.)
“But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.” -Matt. 5:34-35
“The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you , And give you peace.” -Num. 6:24-26
“…for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.” -Zec.2:8
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“If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
if I do not remember you,
If I do not consider Jerusalem
my highest joy.”