In an amazing move of boldness and courage, President Trump declared today that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and vowed to move the American embassy there from Tel Aviv in the near future. Prior to today's announcement, Jerusalem had been the only national capital city of any sovereign state where the United States had not placed their embassy due to political tensions. In a desire to support Israel's right to exist and name its own capital, President Trump said,
That is why, consistent with the Jerusalem embassy act, I am also directing the State Department to begin preparation to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This will immediately begin the process of hiring architects, engineers and planners so that a new embassy, when completed, will be a magnificent tribute to peace.
And while this move, a Trump campaign promise, was hailed by many as wonderful and long overdue, it has been challenged and cursed by many others as an unnecessary provocation and a possible prelude to war with the Islamic world and beyond. The rhetoric on both sides is very heated right now and that surely will not change. However, even though this issue is "up in the air" for the foreseeable future, it is an issue at the heart of the Lord's eternal purposes for all of us. It is an issue that every person on Earth should be prayerfully considering tonight and thinking about for their future.
You see, at the heart of this debate over Jerusalem being Israel's capital is a much more important question dealing with why Jerusalem became Israel's capital in the first place. Every sovereign nation has a capital and those capitals are chosen for many reasons. Jerusalem, however, is the ONLY capital chosen by God Almighty. In 2 Chronicles 6:5-6 the Lord said through King Solomon, as the Temple was being constructed in Jerusalem,
Since the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, nor have I chosen anyone to be ruler over my people Israel. But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.
No other nation on Earth has a capital chosen by God Almighty. The Lord surely didn't tell Americans that He wanted a capital for Himself in Washington or anywhere else for that matter. Jerusalem's centrality, uniqueness and controversy are due to the fact that the Lord spoke in the Bible proclaiming that Jerusalem would be the place He chose for Himself as His capital and a place for His Great Name to be honored. So, while there is a BIG political battle underway right now, the real battle is about whose God is God. If the God of Israel is the God of this world, then that God can choose anywhere on Earth as His capital for whatever reason. And the reason is simple...He is God Almighty. So, in the end, Jerusalem is Israel's capital, regardless of what Jews, Muslims, Christians or any political pundit might think about the issue.
Now if we go a little deeper on this issue we find out why God chose Jerusalem as His capital. It wasn't because God likes the look of Jerusalem more than Paris, Rome, Moscow or Washington. The Lord chose Jerusalem as His eternal capital because it is the world capital of love, redemption and restoration of the world. In short, Jerusalem is where the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross, rose again and initiated a process of love and redemption that is moving the world toward a new heaven and earth. Jerusalem is the capital of this entire world because the entire world needs salvation and a new beginning. That is the ONLY issue on the mind of the Lord tonight. Whether people love or hate President Trump, his announcement today was a part of a sovereign plan of the Lord to bring the world back to Himself. After all, how else do you explain what is going on right now? Does anyone really think that this controversial announcement is just some sort of "coincidence" put forth by some unstable politician? No, God Almighty is on the move and He is not a Democrat or a Republican; He is God, and so far beyond our petty nationalism and politics that most of the people on the Earth are really not fully able to even fathom it. Sadly, much of the world is lost in our shortsighted views of peace and how to get along with one another. And quite honestly, as the Middle East peace failures have repeatedly demonstrated for the last 70 + years, we have no idea of how to make peace with anyone anywhere at anytime.
Jerusalem was chosen as the Lord's capital for our benefit. The Lord wanted His peace, love, joy and hope to be the center of His world, not our focus on money, politics or power. When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross, He fulfilled ancient, historical prophecies about Jerusalem in the Bible from the days of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22 that are over 4000 years old. During that time the Lord told Abraham to take his son Isaac to a region that would one day be recognized as modern Jerusalem. The Lord told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac there as an offering to Him, but spared Isaac at the last moment with a substitute ram to take his place. In Genesis 22:14, the Bible tells us that Abraham called that place, "The Lord will Provide." In that location the Lord showed us He would provide peace, an end to sin, an end to war and even an end to death itself. And through these gifts, the Lord gave us the location and ultimate meaning of His eternal capital. It would be a place where He alone would provide ("Yireh" in Hebrew) peace ("Shalom" in Hebrew). Jerusalem then, would be His "Yirehshalom" or Jerusalem for the whole world, a City like no other and the only true and fitting capital for God's world with His people.
It is a sad thing today, amidst the media confusion and political chaos, that most of the world has no clue why President Trump has just made this historic announcement to the world about Jerusalem. In what has been shown to be a major prophetic event, the world is moving ever closer toward a final peace in Jerusalem when the Lord Jesus Christ returns and establishes His everlasting Kingdom on Earth. That glorious day is nearing and it reflects the real peace that could only be provided by the Cross of our Lord, not a phoney peace deal made up by corrupt political leaders. What a tragedy then that so many people can't see that the peace the world is desperately looking for is not provided by any other faith than the one that is centered in Jerusalem through the Cross and the Empty Tomb. Jerusalem, and the story of that peace between God and Man, is the true news story in Heaven tonight and forever.
May each of us rejoice in this Christmas and Advent season that real peace with the Lord and others does exist. May we continue to pray for our Lord's return and the final peace that He will establish in Jerusalem and over the entire Earth on that Day.