The Preacher Says....  
  Jerusalem a Burdensome Stone  
  Psalm 102, 13 - 22


Is it Jerusalem that’s burdensome, or just things in general? These are the best of times and the worst of times. Good for man because of the many comforts 21st century life offers, but bad for the fundamentalist whose religion is based on Bible principles that uphold Christian faith and morality. Today the fundamentalist is more often than not discredited as a fanatic– followed by witless sheep. Not true. Don’t be fooled. Fundamentalists are fighting a battle for the survival of truth. There’s a battle to be fought, a victory to be won. The battle with natural science continues to rage, and others persist.

Fundamentalists must continually take stock of their first principles and measure them against the whims of doctrine. I’ll set forth a few examples:

Earth has a purpose VS cinder/explosion/jumping off place
Mortal man VS inherent immortality
Jesus a second Adam VS triune entity
Jews to inherit Holy Land VS Jews with no rights
Resurrection of body VS immortal soul

Here’s another fundamental. Jerusalem is to be the capitol city of the world. That rusty, dusty place? Surely this belief is not necessary to our faith. On the contrary, on this fact hang all the law and the prophets. It is an essential, with hundreds of testimonies to support. I’ll edit down, but you will get the point.

In the last days the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains; nations shall flow unto it. Many people will come, and out of Zion shall go forth the law . And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. . . they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and so on. Isaiah 2. 2 - 4

Arise, shine, for thy light is come , and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. . . you have been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. (Is 60. 1, 15)

For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I’ll not rest until the righteousness of it goes forth as brightness, and the salvation of it as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see thy righteousness and kings thy glory. A crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem in the hand of God. (Is 62.1, 2).

Many people shall come to seek the Lord in Jerusalem. . .it shall come to pass that 10 men shall take hold out of all languages the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you, for we’ve heard that God is with you. (Zech 8. 22 -23).

In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills: and people shall flow unto it. (Micah 4. 1)

And finally, Every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the king . . . (Zech 14. 16).

The history of Jerusalem does not augur well for its future. The victory achieved in the 1967 war is very fragile. We must ask, is this just temporary, or is it the commencement of the final consummation of things? This city, with all its enemies arrayed against it, is supported by only a few million Jews. The one thing that unites the Arab is their desire to win Jerusalem. In 1947, by Resolution 181 the United Nations tried to bring the city under international control. The resolution was nullified by the Arabs. After war erupted in the Middle East in 1967, in Resolution 242, the UN called for withdrawal of forces from what is called occupied territory, one which remains in effect today. There is talk of making Jerusalem an international city. Wasn’t it Arafat who told Clinton that the Arab leader has not yet been born who will give up Jerusalem? Surely it is true what Zechariah prophesied,

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.

In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it will be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth shall be gathered against it.(Zech 2. 2, 3).

As in the first century, in the face of all this, we look for the consolation of Israel. For that to happen their foothold must be more solid than it is now. How can Israel control the assault which will engulf it in the not too far distant future? Tentatively speaking–everything is tentative when you delve into the prophetic word–this assault is preceded by the yet unfinished war on terrorism and must eventually include Hezbollah and Hamas. Somehow Jerusalem must end up in the hands of Israel. This will entail great strife with the Arabs and the world at large When the time comes when Israel dwells in peace and safety, in a land of un walled villages, that Gog, along with Persia, Ethiopia, Libya and Togarmah (Turkey) will come like a storm against the mountains of Israel, to take a spoil. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel (Ezek 38. 19).

What shall we do when we see all these things begin to come to pass? I’ll illustrate by this digression:

We have this dreadful disease with a terrible rash in need of treatment. We live in a state of suspended animation–we’ve got this disease that must be cured. Now there are two kinds of people–those on time, and those always late; there are those who always look for ‘greener’ grass, some who live only ‘in the moment’, and others who wander somewhere in between. We need to get busy and listen to the Preacher who said, Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with thy might, for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave where you go (Eccles 9. 10) If we’re honest with ourselves, we see what we must do illustrated in Christ’s parable of the talents (Mt 25. 14) Money was distributed to all according to ability–that is, fairly– those who worked toward increasing the given amount, worked toward the day of accountability. No secret. The recipients knew they would be called to task; they knew there would be a day of reckoning. All but one made personal preparation for that day.

In his final admonition to the faithful, Christ in his message to one of the seven churches–Sardis–said to them:

I know what you are doing.
I know you have the reputation of being alive,
even though you are dead.
So wake up and strengthen what you still have,
before it dies completely.
For I find that what you have done
is not perfect in the sight of God.
Remember what you were taught and how you heard it.
Obey it, and turn from your sins.
If you do not wake up, I will come upon you like a thief
And you will not even know the hour when I come.
(Rev 2. 2, 3 - Good News for Modern Man)