Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

Peace Be on Jerusalem

Zechariah 1:1-21 As we come nearer to the celebration of Jesus' birth, our thoughts go back to that still, quiet night in Bethlehem when the shepherds were startled by a heavenly host that sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will to men." I had the opportunity to stay in a kibbutz in Bethlehem that overlooked the shepherds' fields. As I sat quietly on the balcony I could hear in the distance the tinkling of the bells on the shepherds' staffs as the shepherds led their sheep to a place of rest for the evening. It was a star-filled night very much like the one when heaven came down and glory filled our hearts.

There is anything but peace in Jerusalem and in the world right now. The evening news is filled with scenes of the battles between the Palestinians and the Jews. We see stones flying, helicopters dropping firebombs on buildings and we wonder, "Will there ever be peace in Jerusalem?" Our passage in Zechariah tells us of such a day. Listen. "Therefore thus saith the Lord. I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; my cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem" (vv. 16-17, KJV).

God is telling us to not give up on praying for Jerusalem. We are to keep crying out for the peace of Jerusalem because He will fulfill His plan for this city. When we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we are also praying for the Lord's return. Jerusalem will not be in a state of total peace until the Lord comes again to rule and reign from this city. The Lord has chosen this city to be the seat of His millennial government, and His plans will not be thwarted by the devil or anyone else. Our prayers, however, help to hasten this day, and this is why we continue to cry out in our prayers for the peace of Jerusalem. When the Prince of Peace comes to set up His throne in the city of Jerusalem, the prophecy the angels declared on that first Christmas Eve, "Peace on earth, good will toward men," will be fulfilled. Lord, hasten the day!

Thank You for reminding me to daily pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Don't let a day go by that I do not do this, because more than ever I see what this prayer will accomplish. Thank You for showing me one of the things I can faithfully do to prepare the way for Your Second Coming. I can daily pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

READ: Zechariah 1:1-21; Revelation 12:1-17; Psalm 140:1-13; Proverbs 30:17

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