JERUSALEM: God's chosen City

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God" (Zechariah 8:7,8),

It’s universally known as the Holy City.

And that’s not because it exhibits a higher degree of moral virtue. No does it have a diminished crime-rate.

Jerusalem is evermore the Holy City because it has been chosen by God above all other cities in the world – and in human history – to be set apart for His eternal purposes.

It is one of the very oldest cities in the world. The first mention in the Bible is in Joshua where the City and its king express intense alarm at the coming Israelite army as the Hebrew people exercised their conquest of the Promised Land in approximately 1400 BC.

Thus says the LORD: “I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain” (Zechariah 8:3).

King David conquered the City – home to the Jebusites – in about 1010 BC, and for 3000 years, it has been associated with the Jewish people. However, for an era after the Roman wars and again throughout the Middle Ages, the City was almost vacant of Jewish population.

The Holy City has a unenvied history of military violence, being destroyed twice, sieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured on almost 45 occasions. 

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “I am zealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with great zeal” (Zechariah 1:14).

Today, Jerusalem has more than 2000 active archaeological sites and is home to what may be the oldest functioning cemetery in the world. 

The Old City in east Jerusalem is less than a square kilometer in total area. It is enclosed with walls 4 kms long, 12 meters high, and 2.5 meters thick. Traffic enters and exits via 7 gates. 

Since the mid-19th century, Old Jerusalem has been divided into 4 quarters of unequal size: the Muslim Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Jewish Quarter. A fifth area is composed of the Temple Mount plaza. 

The LORD will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem (Zechariah 1:17).

In his brief book, the prophet Zechariah references Jerusalem by name over 40 times, plus another 8 by the name Zion. The mountain on which the Temple was erected was Mount Zion, but the term Zion became synonymous with the Holy City.

And Jerusalem stands as an everlasting symbol of the Yahweh’s protection, provision, promises, and ultimate, eternal presence.

So again in these days I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear (Zechariah 8:15).

The current conflict brewing in the Middle East, when read through the lens of Zechariah’s powerful prophecy, has the capacity to build robust faith in the hearts and minds of the people of Christ.

Remember, faith is placing your trust in what you have good reason to believe is true.

When considering the improbable predictions about Israel that have been fulfilled – including in the last 100 years – and taken together with other prophetic texts, the student of the Bible is reminded of these historic truths:

a) much has been predicted that remains awaiting fulfillment in a future day.
b) Israel is a provocative example of the principle that God chooses the implausible as compelling evidence of His sovereign and unique ability to fulfill His purposes, His promises.
c) Jerusalem and Israel will be restored to salvation; but as the Lord Jesus predicted, there would wars, rumours of wars, famines, and earthquakes, but the end is still to come. He went on to proclaim, All these are the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:6-8).
d) Christ will return as the Rider on the White horse Whose name is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) and ultimately establish His Kingdom of righteousness.

This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain” (Zechariah 8:3).

Takeaway - Bible teacher John MacArthur: “Emphatically, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the primary figure of Zechariah’s revelation.”

In a future day, Israel will belatedly come to the recognition that Jesus is in fact, their Messiah. But that acknowledgment will be reached with great remorse, but with Holy Spirit-fuelled faith. 

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).

About Us

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:28 The community at Bethel includes a wide range of ages and backgrounds. Young and old, families and singles. By God's plan of redemption we were all brought into one family as brothers and sisters in Christ, given a mission to reach into our world and make disciples for Him. We trust you will find at Bethel a friendly, loving group of people striving to live for Jesus Christ. Whether you are visiting for the day or trying to find a permanent church home, you are welcome to join us as we together seek out Him.