Thursday, August 03, 2006

Shalom, Jerusalem

Israel is heavy on my heart today. War continues to surge in the Gaza strip and along the Israeli-Lebanese border, and I begin to question what the deeper issues at hand really are. What is God's purpose in the midst of this chaos? We're sending politicians, trying to hammer out some kind of peace plan. Nations throwing their weight around, trying to break up this fight, to support one country or another, one cause, one religion, one whatever. Even as I express pride that America has stood behind Israel, and continues to do so, reports flood in about a bombing by Israel that flattened a building and killed some 20-odd Lebanese refugees. What do I make of it? How can I judge the hearts of kings? How can I say definitvely who is right, who is wrong, and how to make peace?
What I know is that this war is about much more than any social group or any nation. It's an age-old division with spiritual roots- this goes back to the old testament and has been prophecied for centuries. There is no true peace until Jesus returns, and I am commanded in no unquestionable terms to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, to give the Lord no rest until Israel is established as a praise in all the earth. I am called to be a watchman on the wall and to seek the good of Jerusalem. And while I do not understand the current conflict or the real issues at the heart of this crisis, the Lord God is the Holy One of Israel and He is sovereign and omniscient. So I will do as I am commanded:

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.' For the sake of my bretheren and companions, I will now say, 'Peace be within you!' because of the House of the Lord our God I will seek your good."

Psalm 122:6-9, NKJV