This week we consider horrific events which have unfolded on the temple mount in Jerusalem, Israel and contemplate the peaceful future prophesied in the Bible. This is Matt Davies joining you.
Temple mount terrorist attack
On Friday the 14th of July 2017 three Israeli Arabs were making their way from the Temple Mount towards the Lions’ Gate. As they moved past Israeli Police officers they opened fire on them. They then fled back onto the temple mount. A gunfight ensued and eventually, Israeli police shot them dead. Two Israeli police officers died and one was seriously injured in the incident.
The Temple Mount was shut down to tourists (Source: Jerusalem Post).
No organisation has taken responsibility for the attack although according to some reports Hamas staged a rally to celebrate the attacks and called for more attacks against Israelis. The BBC reported that “No group has said it was responsible, though the militant Palestinian Hamas movement, which runs the Gaza Strip, praised the attack as a "natural response to the Zionist ongoing crimes”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40604452
The slain officers were Druse. Druse are a religious and ethnic group living in Israel. Their religion developed our of Islam although they are not considered Muslims. Most are considered ethnically as Arab but they have mixed views on the state of Israel - mainly declaring to be neutral. Some, like the two killed this week, are sympathetic to the state of Israel and serve in the Israel Defence Forces.
For the last couple of years, there has been a wave of terrorist attacks on Israelis by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. The news has been full of car-rammings, stabbings and shootings in and around Jerusalem. This incident simply adds to the pile of horrific cases mounting up in recent times.
Closing of the temple mount
After the attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu closed the temple mount. No body was allowed to enter the holy site for 2 days before it is planned to reopen on Sunday 16th July 2017.
This act led to around 1000 Jordanians taking to the streets of Amman on Saturday to protest the shutting down of the area. Tensions were running high and there was talk of a third intifada (or Rebellion) by Palestinians against Israel.
The Jerusalem post reported:
“On Friday Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held a rare phone call, in which the Palestinian leader condemned Friday’s shooting attack on the Temple Mount, the official PA media agency Wafa reported.
“The [PA] president expressed his strong rejection and condemnation of the incident that took place at the holy al-Aksa Mosque,” Wafa reported. “He affirmed his rejection of any violent incident [carried out] by any party, especially in houses of worship.” The al-Aqsa Mosque is a mosque on the Temple Mount.
The PA president rarely condemns attacks on Israelis.”
The two Israeli-Arab policemen who died (source: BBC).
Apparently, additional security measures will be taken to protect the area. These will include cameras and metal detectors.
Bible prophecy and Jerusalem
It is worth bringing to mind some of the what the prophets of the Bible were compelled to record in relation to Jerusalem:
“For the LORD hath chosen Zion (i.e., Jerusalem); he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:13-14)
“At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.” (Jeremiah 3;17)
“And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.” (Zech 14:11)
“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10)
“The LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem” (Isaiah 24: 23)
“The law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2)
These prophecies seem a long way off but we know that they will indeed be fulfilled when the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns to the earth to “restore again the Kingdom to Israel”.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
So as we see reports of violent and terrible things occurring in Jerusalem we echo the prophecy and exhortation of Psalm 122 which speaks of that wonderful time:
A Song of degrees of David.
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together:
Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD.
For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.
For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.
Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.
This has been Matt Davies joining you to consider another Bible in the News. Join us again next week God Willing.