Fifth Day of Advent

Psalm 122 NIV

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”

Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together.

That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD,

to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.  

There the thrones for judgment stand, the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:

            “May those who love you be secure.

             May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”

For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”

For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.

Photo by Haley Black on Pexels.com

Jerusalem, the city on the hill,

the home of the temple where God’s shekinah glory dwelt.

The place where God’s people gathered for prayer,

for worship,

and to receive the word of God.

It was a time of great joy

when the people would travel to Jerusalem to give God glory, honor,and praise.

Everyone gathered together in one place,

 one people united in their faith.

They did not come to be entertained.

They came to worship and to praise God.

Jerusalem,

the city of God,

it was the location of God’s temple,

the place where Jesus was crucified,

the place of His resurrection,

and the place of His return.

The Prophet Ezekiel tells of the time

when Israel’s sin caused God’s glory to depart from the temple.

Now the cherubim were standing on the south side f the temple when the man went in,

and a cloud filled the inner court.

Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim

 and moved to the threshold of the temple.

The cloud filled the temple,

and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD.

The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far away as the outer court,

like the voice of God Almighty when He speaks.

Ezekiel 10:3-5 NIV

Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple

and stopped above the cherubim.

While I watched,

the cherubim spread their wings and rose form the ground,

and as they went,

the wheels went with them.

They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD’s house,

and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.  

Ezekiel 10:18-19 NIV

For centuries God had been warning His people that they were turning away from Him.

He spoke through the prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel and others

warning them of the consequences of their sin,

but the people didn’t heed God’s warning

and God’s glory departed.

.

There is no temple in Jerusalem today and peace is a faint hope. But John speaks of the vision he received concerning the New Jerusalem:

            Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer and sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  

John 21:1-4 NIV

That is the future God promises but until that day we are to pray for the peace and security of Jerusalem. God’s people are to be working together to tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, living their faith so that others will see what a difference Jesus makes in our lives.

God has chosen to use His people to demonstrate His mercy and His grace.

This advent season let us share the vision John talks about in the Book of Revelation.

Spread the message of hope so that others will know that there is a better way,

the way of the Cross.

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