In recent years, I have been blessed to spend several weeks in the eternal city of Jerusalem. This is the only city on the earth which the LORD God of Israel declared, “In Jerusalem, I will put my name forever” (2 Kings 21:4-7).
During my time in Israel, Psalm 122:6 was constantly before my eyes; “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you.” Jerusalem is the most prayed for city in the universe. At every meal, Jews pray the blessing, “Blessed are you, O LORD, who will build up Jerusalem in mercy.”
Every Monday the Jews recite Psalm 48 from their Prayer Book; “Walk about Zion and go all around her” (verse 12). Jerusalem is a spiritual city (not sinless), set apart for a Holy God.
Many days I spent just walking around Jerusalem and was constantly reminded of the blessings connected with Israel that can only come from the true LORD God. Indeed the peace of Jesus Christ is evident in the streets and there are places where one can experience “open heavens.”
A special place is the Garden Tomb, one of two supposed sites where Jesus was buried. On each visit to that place, I experienced the deep things of God. Walking through the gate the first time, I immediately sensed His resurrection spirit.
The second visit, I was healed from my grief over the death of a sister. The third time, I recognized it as a place where the LORD has chosen to put His name. It is a place of remembrance, like coming back to an altar.
On my fourth visit, I sat between an Argentina group who sang a praise chorus in Spanish, while on the opposite side, an American group sang the same song in English. What a prophetic picture of the message of the Resurrected Christ being the Saviour of all mankind.
Another sacred place is the remaining portion of the Western (Wailing) Wall of the Temple where Jews gather all day long to offer up intercession. The Western Wall is a place where Christians can freely pray along side the Jews. To me, this is a prophetic picture of the coming together of the Jew and Gentile as “one new man” (Ephesians 2:11-18).
At the same time, Jerusalem is also the seat of Satan. With the world’s three main religions claiming Jerusalem as their Holy City, one encounters many different religious and evil spirits. This is the city where Jesus was falsely accused, given a mock trial and was killed.
While Christians believe Jesus has risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, the pallor of Jesus’ crucifixion from centuries past still haunts the city. Many residents live with oppression and lack of joy but once outside Jerusalem’s city limits that oppression lifts.
With so many voices pleading for attention, one’s spirit is constantly trying to discern the will of the Father. On my last night in Israel, I asked our LORD to help me hear His true word. The next morning I awoke with this scripture in my heart, “for he who touches you (Israel) touches the apple (pupil) of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8).
The apple of the eye is the pupil, and the pupil is the instrument through which one sees. He who touches Israel touches the center of God’s eyesight. To have an accurate prophetic perception of God’s purposes on the earth today, we must have God’s vision for Jerusalem and Israel.
This is not a race or ethnic issue but it is about a promise-keeping God who is faithful to fulfill His plan. Since Israel is at the center of God’s vision, we need to see through the lens of Israel’s destiny if we are to be true prophetic people.