Throughout history, Jerusalem, Israel has been on the world’s stage – especially throughout biblical times. The Bible contains numerous accounts of the rise and fall of Jerusalem Israel. It is important, especially as Christians, to understand the origin and history behind our beliefs. As we journey through the Bible, we can learn about our heritage as believers.
David Conquers Jerusalem Israel
1 Chronicles 11:4-5 tells of David’s victory over the Jebusites, “David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem…The Jebusites who lived there said to David, “You will not get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.” This account is the first time the Israelites claimed possession of Jerusalem. Following the victory, David declared Jerusalem the capital of the people of Israel. It also became known as the City of David.
David Brings the Ark of God into Jerusalem Israel
King David, through his military campaign, had finally established a capital city for the Israelites. Out of a desire to truly establish Jerusalem as God’s city, David set out to bring the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. David’s first attempt to bring the ark of the covenant to the city failed miserably and ended with the death of Uzzah (1 Chronicles 13:1-14). David knew the ark of the covenant, the very presence of God, belong with His people in Jerusalem. He assigned the Levites, the tribe assigned to be priests unto the Lord, to bring up the ark of the Lord. The journey was successful and David rejoiced by dancing wildly (1 Chronicles 15:1-16:6)!
Solomon Builds the Temple in Jerusalem Israel
Although David had it in his heart to build a permanent temple for the Lord, the Lord only allowed him to make preparations (1 Chronicles 22:2-5). 1 Chronicles 28:2-3 explains why the Lord prevented David from building His temple, “King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord…and I made plans to build it. But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood’.” Therefore, Solomon, his son was commissioned to build the temple (2 Chronicles 3) and was able to establish a permanent temple for God’s presence to dwell.
Nebuchadnezzar Destroys Jerusalem Israel
Jerusalem remained the capital of Israel until it was completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (2 Chronicles 36:15-17). Many of the Israelites were taken to Babylon and held in captivity, while a small remnant remained. The temple of the Lord was completely plundered and set on fire (2 Chronicles 36:18-19). Destruction had come to God’s people.
The Rebuilding Jerusalem Israel
Jerusalem remained in ruins and the Israelites remained in captivity until Cyrus became king of Persia (2 Chronicles 36:22-23). King Cyrus, moved by the spirit of God, made a proclamation releasing anyone who wanted to help him rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem. The Lord used King Cyrus to break the seventy-year captivity and reestablish God’s reign in Jerusalem. Restoration had returned to God’s people at the hands a foreign king!
Reflecting on Jerusalem, Israel
These are just a few snapshots of the biblical history of Jerusalem Israel. Beginning with David’s victory, Jerusalem has been a major center in the political and religious arenas. There continues, to this day, to be conflict within and over the city. Thankfully Jesus, through the new covenant, established believers as the temple of God. As God’s temple, we have the privilege of carrying and releasing His presence wherever we go.
It is important to reflect on these biblical accounts of Jerusalem Israel. It is a reminder that we are in a war and have been for centuries. Thus, the battle for heaven to be established on earth is very real.
Take heart! We know who wins!