It was on this day in the year 1187 that the sultan Saladin captured and conquered Jerusalem allowing Jews to return to the city after an 88-year absence. If you are a student of the Bible then you know that the storied history of Jerusalem is full or war, conquest, defeat and victory. Ever since David conquered the city and made it his capital, Jerusalem has been a magnet that has pulled nations, kingdoms, conquerors and would-be conquerors to attack, besiege, destroy and reign over Jerusalem. If you’re a student of the Bible, then you also know why it has been such a magnet. It’s because Jerusalem is where the Creator determined that he would establish His name. This is where He determined that He would rule and reign from and where He would reside among His people.
According to Scripture, Jerusalem will continue being this magnet for those who would lord over her. Moreover, the prophets make it clear that Zion will be the center of the world’s attention, and nations will once again look to Jerusalem to conquer her and to reign over her. Here’s what Zechariah the prophet had to say:
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
Eventually, all nations will come against Jerusalem and it’s not really hard to imagine this taking shape in the very near future. Today, Jerusalem is the epicenter of world politics and is often connected to upheavals breaking out in other regions of the world. When nations gather to discuss the issues political, social and military issues facing the planet, the status of Jerusalem almost always finds its way into these conversations and, more often than not, it doesn’t bode well for those who hold the most ancient claim on the city – Israel.
Even though all nations are gathering against Jerusalem, the God of Israel will come to her defense. He will defend her against the nations in spite of the fact that, currently according to the book of Revelation, Jerusalem is regarded as “Sodom and Egypt” (Rev. 11:8). He will come to her defense in spite of the fact that Christ said Jerusalem is the one who stones the prophets and kills those who are sent to her (Matt. 23:37).
It would seem that once God has set His name on something and given His Word regarding something – even a place – He is determined that the enemy will not possess it permanently or destroy it outright. That concept is of interest to us because, in the Aaronic blessing, the Creator concludes it by saying this:
“So, they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:27)
In spite of the fact that, throughout its history, the people of Jerusalem have sinned against God, which has sometimes allowed for conquerors to come in and temporarily rule over them, He continues to defend them. In spite of Jerusalem’s dubious reputation, when all nations come against her to destroy her, the God of Israel will rush to her defense. Why? Because He is determined not to allow the adversary to take and destroy that which He has set His name upon.
In the Priestly Blessing, we see that He has set His name upon us and if so, might it be that He is just as determined to not allow the adversary to take us or destroy us – in spite of us? If we are living in the last days, then we know that enemies are gathering against Jerusalem. More importantly, we know that the Enemy is gathering to come against God’s people. It seems fitting, then, to introduce this word into our everyday vocabulary – Hosanna (in Hebrew pronounced Hoshia Na), which literally means, “Save us now.”
May His Name be upon you and your household so that in the day of adversity, He will rush to defend you and yours.