Jerusalem, if I forget you

Jerusalem, If I Forget You

 

Many times, throughout the Torah, and particularly in Sefer D’varim (the Book of Deuteronomy) Moshe rabbeinu (Moses) talks about the place where G-d will choose to place His Name, or have His Name dwell. It was to be the place of true worship. Although the Mishkahn (Tabernacle) stayed in Shiloh for 369 years, we discover during the reign of David HaMelech (King David) that this special place was to be Jerusalem (Yerushalayim). “Yeru-Shalem” meaning "the foundation of Peace (Shalom).

The Mishkahn was replaced by the First Temple, the house that Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) built, and this was replaced by the Second Temple, which was standing when Yeshua ministered in Israel. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 C.E., on the 9th of Av, just as Yeshua prophecies in Matthew 24:1-2.

But the destruction of the Temple was not a point of joy or rejoicing for Yeshua. In Luke 19:41-47, we read how Yeshua wept over Yerushalayim:

“When Yeshua had come closer and could see the city, he wept over it, saying, "If you only knew today what is needed for shalom! But for now it is hidden from your sight. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will set up a barricade around you, encircle you, hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within your walls, leaving not one stone standing on another—and all because you did not recognize your opportunity when G-d offered it!"

Then Yeshua entered the Temple grounds and began driving out those doing business there, saying to them, "The Tanakh says, 'My House is to be a house of prayer,' but you have made it into a den of robbers!" Every day he taught at the Temple.”

(CJB*)

The destruction of the Second Temple is a point of fasting for the Jewish people, even to this day.  The place where  G-d dwelt among us, the place every Jew went at least 3 times per year to worship G-d through sacrifice and celebration, has been destroyed, and His presence is not with us in the same way as it was then.

There is an old Jewish song called “Jerusalem, if I forget you”. You can hear it with the slideshow above. Matisyahu has a modern rap version. This song portrays the depth of the loss of the Temple, and what it would mean if we forgot Jerusalem.

It is true that as Believers in Yeshua, we now have the Rauch HaKodesh, G-d’s spiritual presence dwelling within us. But that does not mean we can forget Jerusalem. If the Temple was a special place for G-d at one time, for many years, the destruction of it should be a point of mourning for us as well. The only joy that we can have is that we are, for now anyway, the Temple of the Living God. But it gets better because He will once again dwell on earth in a Temple built by Messiah.

The Prophets of old spoke about a time when Messiah will reign on earth and rebuild the Temple, which means G-d will once again dwell in the midst of His people, just as we read about in Zechariah 6:12-13 and Ezekiel 37:21-28.

Jerusalem is at the center G-d’s heart. She is the apple of His eye. It is where He chose to have His Name dwell. Jerusalem sits at the center of time. Look back in time and it is graced with G-d’s presence, and look forward in time, it will once again be the city where both His Messiah will rule all Nations with an iron rod, and G-d Himself will welcome all those who choose to humble themselves and come to Him, along the Ancient Path.

The return of Messiah (or His first coming, for those who have not met Him in person yet) to Mt Zion (the place of the Temple) should be at the heart of every Believer in G-d, whether Jew by birth or Grafted in through Yeshua. The Messiah’s return will culminate in the ingathering of all Israel (Natural Jew and Grafted-In Believer) to Jerusalem, the rebuilding of G-d’s Temple and the return of G-d’s manifest presence on earth, for 1000 years.

At Derech HaMashiach we echo Rambam’s 12th Principal; We believe with complete faith in the coming of Messiah, and even if He should tarry, we nevertheless will wait every day for His coming. As Shimon Peter puts it: “You should lead holy and godly lives, as you wait for the Day of G-d and work to hasten its coming” (2 Peter 3:11-12 – CJB*). It's not enough just to wait for the day of His return, we should eagerly work toward it by establishing His Kingdom here on earth, just as Shimon Peter encouraged us to do.

“I, Yeshua, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the Messianic communities. I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star. The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come!' Let anyone who hears say, 'Come!' And let anyone who is thirsty come—let anyone who wishes, take the water of life free of charge."

Revelation 22:16-17 (CJB*)
*Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.

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