Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Watchmen on the Walls Wednesday

My hope for my posts on Wednesdays is to be devoted to writing about Israel - the land, the Spirit, and the people. Whether we recognize it or not, both our past and our future is bound up in this land. Not America, though we may enjoy the present situations in which we currently live, not Europe or Africa, though many of our ancestors came from these places; no, the very heart of who we are and where we are going is directly related to this tiny spot of land, barely the size of the state of Rhode Island. Amazing, isn't it?

This weekly post takes its name from Isaiah 62:6-7,

"I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night.
You who call upon the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of all the earth."

I want to point out that this is still in effect. Some might want to say that these verses have "been done away with" or "fulfilled." But look at the context. Reading on to verses 8-9:

"The LORD has sworn by His right hand and by His mighty arm: Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courtyards of My sanctuary."

Yes, He did bring the people back to the Land and establish the modern state of Israel, fulfilling some prophecies in 1948. However, it has not all been completed yet.
As Paul Wilbur on his album The Watchman says, " Soon, and not yet, is the word that the watchman give as he strains his eyes through the night mist..."
Therefore, since this still applies today, are we not all called to be watchmen on the walls? Some people have told me that it is a "special calling", that not all believers are called to this. However, that is not what the Scripture states. It clearly says, "You who call on the LORD..." So basically, everyone that prays is "called" to pray for Jerusalem; actually, it says, "give Him no rest" until He hears you! We should continually be seeking God on behalf of Jerusalem and the whole Land of Israel.
"Why Jerusalem?", you may ask. "What is so special about that place?"
It is interesting to note that in the whole Torah (the Five Books of Moses - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) that the name Jerusalem, or Yerushalayim in Hebrew, is not mentioned, even once; however, it is referred to by another name. And what name is it called by in the Torah? "The place on which I will put my Name" (Deut 12:5, among others). Wow, that's a pretty powerful name for a city, if you ask me. The place where the Holiest of Holies, the King of Kings, the Alef and the Tav (Alpha and Omega), I AM that I AM, would put HIS NAME!
Well, I don't want to write "too much" in this first post, but I will close with a challenge. My challenge to you (and myself) is to remember Jerusalem everytime you pray for the next week. See what God does, and see how your heart will start (or continue) to break for that city, the city (and the whole land) of our past and our future. I will close with the prayer that Daniel prayed for Jerusalem in Daniel 9:15-19:
"Now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of Egypt with a mighty hand and who made for Yourself a name that endures to this day, we have sinned, we have done wrong. O Lord, in keeping with all Your righteous acts, turn away Your anger and Your wrath from Jerusalem, Your city, Your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and Your people an object of scorn to all those around us. Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of Your servant. For Your sake, O Lord, look with favor on Your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open Your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears Your Name. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For Your sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people bear Your Name."
Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim (Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem)!


crissie said...

Thanks for sharing this, Jen! We constantly need reminder to pray for Israel (or at least I do)! I'm always inspired by your knowledge of the word and how God is using it in your life!

Mom said...

What a beautiful word you have shared with us! Wednesday seems to be Challah baking night for me, and as I am desirous of learning the Mitzvah of Hafrashat Challah (separating Challah), it fits right in for me to be praying for the Redemption of Israel after the blessing for separating challah and praying for offspring. There is something so rythmically spiritual as I pray for you, Beth and Jean as I knead that dough. Lifting up B'nai Yisrael on "Watchmen Wednesday" will enrich my week as well, and make that ten minute knead time pass all the more pleasantly! BTW, don't be jealous, the aroma in this kitchen is amazing!

Jenny M said...

I want the smell of fresh challah in my kitchen too!!! I need your recipes!