On Wednesday President Trump recognized what has been a reality for decades: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. He declared his intention to reverse decades of US presidential wavering on what Congress overwhelmingly decided in 1995—to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
World reaction varied from excitement to disappointment to incitement; some claim it is prophetic, while others say it is catastrophic. Here are 7 points to help us think and pray:
- Israel declared in 1950 that Jerusalem is her capital. Yet, since then only two nations have agreed to recognize this fact, and even they later moved their embassies back to Tel Aviv. Imagine if virtually every nation in the world refused to recognize Washington DC as the US capital; or Beijing as the Chinese capital; or Paris as the French capital? Would there be anything “normal” about asking these nations to function under such circumstances? But this is what the world has asked of Israel.
- Hamas and other terror groups are saying Trump’s actions on Jerusalem are an “atrocity.” They are calling for a new intifada. Meanwhile they’ve had nothing to say about Assad using chemical weapons, ISIS murdering Muslims and Christians, 500,000 dead in Syria, 10 million refugees, the treatment of women in the Arab world, etc. There are real atrocities in the Middle East to be angry about—this is not one of them.
- God predicted (or foreknew) thousands of years ago that the City of Jerusalem would be the most controversial city in the world. Psalm 2 speaks of the nations raging against God. God’s response is: “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” Zech. 12:2-3 says that in the end times Jerusalem will be a “cup of reeling, an immovable rock” to the surrounding nations, “injuring themselves” because of their stand against Jerusalem and the God of Israel.
- For all the outrage, people seem to forget that for most of history, Jerusalem was hardly important to the Arab-Muslim world. It has never been the capital of any Arab nation; it was only when the Jews began to return to Israel that this counterfeit zeal for Jerusalem was birthed throughout the Muslim world. The Islamic Ottomans controlled Jerusalem for 400 years and let it become totally desolate.
- On the other hand, God chose Jerusalem to be the place where His house would be built and it has been the capital of every Jewish nation since King David, more than 3,000 years ago. Jerusalem (or Zion) is mentioned nearly 1,000 times in the Old Testament and ZERO times in the Quran.
- The geography of the Gospel accounts center around Israel, and Yeshua’s final days—his death, resurrection and birth of the early congregation—in Jerusalem. Mohamed never visited Jerusalem; there is only a vague mention of a one-time night visit in a dream to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, which Muslims claim is Jerusalem. (Quran 17:1)
- World leaders (mostly from the Left) are afraid that the US declaration will significantly damage the peace process. WHAT PEACE PROCESS!?!? The Palestinians are forming a unity government with Hamas terrorists. They will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They teach their children to hate Jews. They name city squares, streets and schools after terrorists who blew up innocent Jewish women and children. You can’t damage something that doesn’t exist. For almost 70 years the nations of the world believed that NOT recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital would somehow foster peace. It hasn’t! As the President said, if you want to achieve different results, then you have to try something new. Kudos to Trump for having the courage to believe that embracing the reality of Jerusalem as Israeli’s capital may be a key to bring some kind of peace to Israelis and Palestinians. Let’s pray that it does; and that we will see more and more Jews and Muslims turning to Yeshua!