jerusalemJerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world; it has been fought over many times and destroyed twice. Even today, its ownership is still being fought over. In 1980  the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) declared Jerusalem as Israel's "eternal and indivisible" capital  but the United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared that the Knesset's "Jerusalem Law" was "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith". And the struggle goes on, recently, Chief PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organisation) negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the PA (Palestinian Authority) is planning to apply to the UN for membership of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital.  And the  PA have even embroiled American President Barak Obama by quoting , his statement to the U.N. General Assembly last year, "When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that can lead to a new member of the United Nations, an independent, sovereign state of Palestine living in peace with Israel.” The president’s remarks were taken out of context, but the campaign is bound to rub salt in the wounds of American Jews who voted for President Obama based on his promises not to divide Jerusalem, bind the Palestinian Authority to former agreements and halt incitement, and not enforce an agreement on Israel.

So, it seems that there is difficulty with all who try to impose their influence on Jerusalem and ought Bible students be surprised at this constant squabbling over Jerusalem?

Not really,  because the both Jesus and the Prophets of the Old Testament inform us that Jerusalem will be the focus of all the world just before Christ returns , for example Zechariah states that Jerusalem will be besieged by armies just before the return of Christ  ¶

Zech 12v2  Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

3  And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

In the last few decades Jerusalem has proved to be a ‘burdensome stone’ to all Nations who have involved themselves with it, but this prophecy says more, it tells us that all the nations will gather themselves together to attack Jerusalem ( this is also prophecied in Joel 3:2)

However, the Prophet Zechariah also states that on this occasion Jerusalem will not fall to the invading armies but will be defended by the LORD in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Jews will finally recognise as their Messiah.

8  In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

This can only mean the return of Christ and the Jews finally understanding that he is their Messiah. And current events tell us that this may happen soon. The attitude of the whole world is subtly changing towards Israel. Should the UN decide at some time to legalise the Palestinian State there could arise a situation where the Nations of the world try to wrest the land from Israel by force. Even if this does not occur immediately, Israel seems to have few friends left and the USA once a staunch ally no longer has the power, nor possibly, the will to stand by her whatever the consequences.

Surely, the return of Christ is near when Jerusalem will no longer be a ‘burdensome stone’ but the joy of the whole world for the prophet Isaiah states  

Isa 56:7  mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

And it will be this city from which Jesus will reign over the whole world

Ps 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

When Jesus returns to claim his Kingdom and rule from Jerusalem, that city will no longer be a burden it will be a place of praise to God and Isaiah counsels the faithful to pray earnestly for that day Isa 62:7  And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

 Lets us therefore watch Israel, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and wait expectantly for the return of Christ.