In Hebrew language ‘Jerusalem’ translates as ‘city of peace’. Iru…shalom=City of Peace. Too bad it’s almost never been such in its long history. But some day. When newness hits the horizon and breaks the eastern sky, bearing the coming Messiah to rule and reign in glory! Probably not today. Possibly not tomorrow. But the day after!
King David sings in Psalm 122: 6–‘Pray for the peace of Jerusalem’. Peace for the city of peace. God wants nothing better than for peace to prevail in His holy city, and especially for His people. For you and me.
Psalm 122 is one of those psalms sung by pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem for one of three annual sacred festivals. It’s called a ‘Song of Ascent’. From whatever direction you approach Jerusalem, it’s always an ascent, a going up to the holy city and the Holy One.
How could we ever forget our first view of Jerusalem. Sue and I have been touring with our group for over a week. Amazing sights. Awesome biblical insights. Only downside remains battling a hot, dusty sandstorm all week long. Nasty with nary a sign of letting up. Until we arrive at the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem. Putting the luggage into our room, which has large picture windows, there it is. Right in front of our eyes. Jerusalem! At night. All lit up. And finally not a bit of sand in the air! Crystal clear.
Breathtaking an understatement. Had to pinch ourselves. Are we really here? Are we seeing what our eyes behold? A dream come true? Yes, to all the above.
Except little peace was found almost anywhere. Israeli soldiers, everywhere. Palestinians we befriended, entrenched in past grievances. Not willing to budge an inch. Religions proliferate with pilgrims scurrying from one shrine to the next. Peace…barely evident.
Peace is what God gives to His own. From Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Exactly what we need. No matter how rotten life becomes, He still offers peace like a river (Is. 48:18), that steadies fragile nerves (Is. 26:3-4), which solitude and calm become His will for us (Is. 26:12).
Jesus also promises this–‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…not… as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’ (John 14:27). Promises given. Promises fulfilled…just around the corner!
Thank you, Lord, for peace beyond measure. In Jesus’ name. Amen.