The importance of Jerusalem is tied to one of God’s compound names.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
Since Islam’s holiest site is in Mecca, why does all the action today seem to take place in Jerusalem, a city not even mentioned in the Qur’an? Why is Jerusalem, and more specifically, the Temple Mount, so important that it has become a powder keg ready to explode? Why do Muslims even care?
There are many reasons, but today I want to focus on one particular name of God. It reveals why God cares about Jerusalem. Satan knows very well how important the “Holy City” is to God and to all eternity. Therefore, since he’s not going down without a fight, he will do whatever he can to thwart God’s plans, and one of his chosen weapons is Islam. It reflects his deceptive nature as well as his intentions to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).
With this brief backstory, let’s go back around 2500 years to discover the significance of Jerusalem and God’s name—Jehovah-Shammah. Jerusalem had fallen, the Temple had been destroyed, and Israel had been in Babylon for 25 years. Enthusiasm for Zion had become a thing of the past. Eventually, Israel began to reflect on the reasons for their captivity. Through Ezekiel, God brought a message of consolation and hope. He promised to restore the land and His people to a degree far beyond anything He had previously done. The last verse in the book of Ezekiel puts an exclamation mark on the book’s last section which is all about Israel in the Millennial kingdom. Through Ezekiel, God declares that when Jesus returns at His Second Coming, enters through the east gate, and God’s glory finally returns, God will re rename the city Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord is There.
The Jehovah who had departed from the defiled old Temple now promises to return into a new and glorious city and Temple, purged and filled with righteousness, glory, and His presence forever.
After the fall, God’s moral and spiritual relationships with man were broken. Many of God’s compound names (like Jehovah-Shammah) of Jehovah reveal Him as providing redemption for fallen and sinful man, and depicting every aspect of that great transaction of that redemption by which man is fully restored to God—healing, victory, peace, sanctification, justification, preservation, care, and guidance. Jehovah-Shammah is the promise and pledge of the completion of that purpose in man’s final rest and glory, for man’s end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.
AS I SEE IT
Israel had always been different from the surrounding nations because its God was holy and He dwelled with them, not in some far-off place. His presence was conditional upon their faithfulness in being the holy people God required. God’s presence had been with them from the beginning, via His Angel, a cloud, fire, etc. His abode was the tabernacle and the Temple. Ezekiel’s prophecy ultimately looked toward the Millennial Kingdom and especially the new heaven and new earth.
Jesus was representing the human race and the fullness of God dwelled in Him (Col. 1:19). The Word became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:14). In Him, God’s presence is now within His followers as living temples (2 Cor. 6:16). The Church is also called the habitation of God (Eph. 2:19-22). But there is yet a final and eternal fulfillment: many mansions in His Father’s house, where we will live with Him forever, in a holy, perfect, and heavenly city. See Rev 21 and 22. Jesus will have become our Jehovah-Shammah.
Jerusalem is important to God because it is there that Jesus will be manifested as Jehovah-Shammah. Satan knows this and so did the Muslims who conquered the city many years ago. What they didn’t understand, however, was that blocking up the east gate (as they did) would be as ineffective in keeping Jesus out as the stone at His tomb was in keeping Him in.
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