Intro: In our passage today, David is excited and expresses his great joy over Jerusalem—the City of Peace. According to Scripture, after David and his men defeated the Jebusites (2 Samuel 5) they reestablished Jerusalem as the capital politically and religiously. David brought the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Testimony to its rightful and permanent home in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). God’s love and provision for His people increased their faith and trust; so, when they all got together for the feasts it was a joyous time. People were filled with joy to be able to come to the Tabernacle of the Lord and together praise and worship the goodness of God.
Worship should always fill us with joy; the glory and greatness of our God is unequaled. The world may remain a mess, but God is untouched by our human rebellion and chaos. Instead, we sense His sovereignty, power, mercy, faithfulness, goodness, and anointing in worship. Like David, I am filled with joy just thinking and writing about experiencing God’s presence in our worship. He is Amazing!
Back to our passage, remember three times a year God’s people (men) were commanded by the Torah to go up to Jerusalem to express their gratitude to God. They were not to come empty-handed. Three Jewish Pilgrimage Festivals were to be celebrated: Passover (celebrating the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt), Shavuot (Pentecost—an agricultural celebration, as well as entering into the covenant between God and Israel), and Sukkot (Tabernacles/Booths celebrating the Israelites’ wandering in the desert for 40 years relying on God for provision). These three festivals brought the people together to reaffirm their communal commitment to the Lord Yahweh.
Isn’t it interesting that Jerusalem—the City of Peace—has been in the midst of conflict and fights throughout history. This Holy City has been fought over more than any other city in the world. May we always remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. However, as believers, we know peace will remain elusive for Jerusalem until the love of God flowing from the Prince of Peace returns to set up His Kingdom.
Psalm 122:1-9 (NLT)
I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached.
All the tribes of Israel—the Lord’s people— make their pilgrimage here.They come to give thanks to the name of the Lord, as the law requires of Israel.
Here stand the thrones where judgment is given, the thrones of the dynasty of David.
Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.
O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces.
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “May you have peace.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek what is best for you, O Jerusalem.
Prayer: Lord, I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, today. I am not praying for a mere absence of conflict; rather I am praying for the wholeness only You can provide. May all Your children place faith in Your goodness and abilities, because only You can bring real Peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.