UPDATED: The battle to divide Jerusalem is intensifying this week. Sweden is pushing hard to pass an initiative to persuade 27 foreign ministers of European Union states to endorse a plan to recognize unilaterally East Jerusalem as the capital of a new Palestinian State. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, is doing everything he can to counter the Swedish effort. EU ministers meet today in Brussels.
The Bible teaches that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loves Israel’s neighbors, but has specifically chosen Jerusalem to be the capital of the Jewish people and His own prized possession. It is not to be carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey.
In I Kings 11:32, the Lord calls Jerusalem “the city which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel.”
In 2 Chronicles 6:6, the Lord says, “I have chosen Jerusalem that My Name might be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.”
In Psalm 132:13-16, we read, “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. ‘This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her with bread.”
The Bible also teaches that the Lord will judge the nations who seek to divide Israel and Jerusalem. In Joel 3:1-2, we read, “When I restore the fortunes of Jerusalem [in the last days] I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance Israel whom they have scattered among the nations and they have divided up My land.”
- Please pray for the Lord to intervene and thwart this effort by the nations to divide Jerusalem.
- Please pray for the peace of Jerusalem, as we are commanded in Psalm 122:6.
- Please pray for wisdom for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government this week.
- Please pray, too, for millions of evangelical Christians to rise up to pray with us for these issues, and to speak out against the division of Jerusalem (for specific actions you can take, go to Natan Sharansky’s “One Jerusalem” web site.)
- Please pray for us at The Joshua Fund as we seek to raise $1 million in end-of-the-year giving this month to help us buy a forklift and truck and begin to stock our new warehouse in Israel with food and other relief supplies to bless the poor and needy in Jerusalem and around the Holy Land in obedience with the Scriptures. These funds will also help us purchase two ambulances for Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency care organization. If you would like to make a year-end, tax-deductible donation to The Joshua Fund, please click here
- Please for The Joshua Fund as we prepare to hold our first Epicenter Conference in Asia next month in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. The goal will be to teach some 3,500 Asian pastors and ministry leaders about God’s love and plan for Israel and her neighbors, and mobilize them to join a global movement to “learn, pray, give and go.” More details coming soon. Please pray for all the many and complicated organizational details, as well as for safety and unity among the church and ministry leaders we’re working with.
- Join the “Epicenter Team” on Facebook for daily prayer updates
- Read Joshua Fund’s weblog
HEADLINES TO TRACK:
- Update as of 4pm Monday: EU foreign ministers fail to reach agreement on dividing Jerusalem; will reconvene Tuesday to continue discussions
- Haaretz: Netanyahu makes final push to foil Swedish plan to divide Jerusalem
- Ynet News: Israel gears to fight Swedish initiative: Senior political sources call Stockholm’s attempt to have east Jerusalem declared capital of future Palestinian state ‘underhanded move,’ say majority of EU members are against it
- Jerusalem Post: Mayor of Jerusalem tells EU foreign policy chief Jerusalem must remain united
- President Obama meets with Turkish Prime Minister at White House
- Report: Syria has removed preconditions, may soon negotiate directly with Israel