“Look, a people rises like a lioness, and lifts itself up like a lion…” (Numbers 23:24)
“Awake, Awake! Put on your strength, O Zion…O Jerusalem, the holy city! Shake yourself from the dust, arise…Loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, O captive daughter of Zion!” (Isaiah 52:1-2)
“Surely Adonai YHVH does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? Adonai YHVH has spoken! Who can but prophesy.” (Amos 3:7-8)
1. A LION, A HARP…AND 50 YEARS TOWARDS LIBERATION
As we wrote in our previous Update, Wednesday May 24th will be the 28th of the Hebrew month of Iyar, the 50th anniversary of the taking of Jerusalem by Israeli forces during the Six Day War (in 1967 the 28th of Iyar fell on June 7th). That day marked the end of only 19 years (1948-1967) since the time of King David, that there had not been a Jewish presence in the ancient city. To celebrate this anniversary, the municipality has released a new “50” logo (see picture above). Flags bearing it are already fluttering round the city. In presenting the logo to the Cabinet earlier this month, Israeli Minister of Culture Naomi Regev described what was intended by its symbols:
* The base of the “5” depicts a Harp, calling to mind David, Israel’s king who founded Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel 3000 years ago.
* The head of the 5 portrays the head of a Lion, the symbol of the modern city of Jerusalem.
* The 5 is also reminiscent of Paratroopers Battalion 55, “which was the first to enter Lions Gate in 1967 and was the IDF force which liberated Jerusalem.
* Within the “0”is the flag of Israel [with Star of David] fluttering above the walls of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount—as it would have been seen for the first time in history in 1967.
* The color of the logo is gold, reminiscent of the song Yerushalayim Shel Zahav—“Jerusalem of Gold,” composed and sung before the ’67 War, completed afterwards, and associated ever since with the spirit surrounding that victory.
* Beneath the drawing are the words, “50 Years to the Liberation of Jerusalem: United and Uniting Jerusalem.”
(“United Jerusalem, Excitement ahead of 50th anniversary”: Arutz Sheva, 3 May 17 19:48)
Several things strike us about this logo. First, is how it looks when compared with the logo used ten years ago on the 40th anniversary. That design contained a stylized “40” meant to depict Jaffa Gate—the gate of the City through which a parade of celebrants pour each year on Jerusalem Day. It may be seen near the top of the wall of the gate in the picture to the left below. But there was to us something disturbing about that design. As may be seen in the picture on the right, Jaffa Gate is topped by an 18th Century Turkish Islamic minaret. And it was this minaret and wall (built by the Ottoman Turks in the 16th Century) which outlined the logo—in fact, which comprised the dominant features of it!
Ironically, it depicts an icon of the religious system which held Jerusalem under its power for centuries and continues to seek to dominate it today. It is interesting that in 2007, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert, bowing to Islamic pressure, disavowed his previous pledges and began seeking to divide the very city which was celebrating 40 years, to return it to Muslim sovereignty.
This year’s symbol depicts a lion, bursting forth—hurling as it were the ancient binding symbol seated atop the 2007 logo aside! Might this 50th year be a year in which Islamic oppression and domination begins to falter before a Jerusalem rising into her place as the Lion of God?
In Isaiah 29 Jerusalem is five times called by the name Ari’el—“Lion of God.” At that time it was in a context of coming distress for her sins. But it was God who gave her that name. His love and zeal for her are evident in verses 7 and 8, where He shifts to a terrifying judgment which will come upon “all the nations who fight against Ariel, even all who fight against her and her fortress, and distress her…who fight against Mount Zion!” Zechariah 1:14-17 foretell a time when the LORD of Armies will be jealous for Jerusalem, for Zion with great zeal—will return to Jerusalem with mercies, will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.
THE HARP OF DAVID
Depicted at the base of the “5” logo are the strings of David’s harp. Ezekiel 37 promises a day when David himself will indeed return to and rule in Jerusalem—But Amos 9:11 prophesies a day before that, when YHVH will raise up David’s fallen sukka—“shelter, tabernacle”, repair its damages, raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old. In the process, a place will be found for the remnant of “Edom” (those freed from the covenant-hating spirit of Amalek manifest in Islam today); indeed, there will be a place for all nations called by His name. May this be a year of awakened Davidic worship and high praise in the city, may it begin to rise into its original call!
* That in God’s mercies Jerusalem will enter into a season in which that which has bound and held her will be thrown down, and she will rise up into her place as a “Lion of God.”
* That Jerusalem’s and Israeli hearts will again be tuned to the harp of her ancient King who sang forth praise to his Lord and God—and concerning the Son who would one day come. Pray for a new release of Davidic worship and High Praise to be released within the capital.
* That Jerusalem’s God will be made known in the City. It is upon the “house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem” that the Spirit of grace and supplication must first be poured, bringing revelation of the “One who was pierced”, sorrow for sin, and revealing “a fountain for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.” (Zechariah 12:10, 13:1)
2. CONTINUING TO INTERCEDE REGARDING THE UP-COMING VISIT AND MEETINGS IN JERUSALEM WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP.
* For Prime Minister Netanyahu—that facing the arrival of the American President next week, he will not try to go into this in his own strength (See Jeremiah 17:5, this week’s Haftarah below). He is not without weaknesses, fears and personal insecurities, and there are many “powers” seeking to control his mind and divert him from a way of integrity. Pray that Mr. Netanyahu will humble himself before the God of Israel… so that the “good way” (Jeremiah 6:16) may be shown to him, and he will walk in it—Pray that the zeal and courage of the Lion of God will rise up in him to take his stand with what is right!
* Pray the same for President Trump. We are aware of counsellors presently being consulted in Washington whose advice, though seemingly logical, runs counter to the purposes of God.
* Pray against Nets and Snares for the two leaders in the upcoming meetings. Regarding this, during a time of corporate governmental intercession in Jerusalem this morning, we were given the following Scriptures to return to often to proclaim over next weeks’ meetings: Psalms 9:13-15; 35:4-9; 57:6; 119:110; 124:1-8; 140:4-11; 142:1-7
* That our leaders and Israel herself come to realize that, although we are deeply grateful for the strong support of our allies—there is not one of them in which Israel’s strength, supply and security ultimately lie. For those, she will have to learn to depend wholly upon her God!
–Martin and Norma Sarvis