As the prophet Ezekiel already shows, it was always in the purpose and heart of God when He said that He would one day bring His people back from all the countries where they had been scattered – that they would come back to His and their land “to serve Him on His holy mountain” in Jerusalem. This is how Ezekiel, centuries before the return to their land, prophesied this:
“For on My holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel,” says the Lord God, “there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve Me; there I will accept them, and there I will require your offerings and the firstfruits of your sacrifices, together with all your holy things. I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers.” (Ezekiel 20:40-42)
This is a remarkable verse which expresses the reason why God brought His Jewish people home – not to live and be like all the other nations – but to serve Him on the very hill which used to be always the central dwelling place of God and worship place for His people.
Just as there has been a definite reluctance among many Zionists to stress this religious aspect of biblical based Zionism in regard to the ‘Let my people go’ slogan where the second part of that divine command ‘that they may serve Me’ nearly always was omitted, so also today this clear intent and reason why God says He is bringing His people again back to His and their land is to serve Him on His holy mountain is left out by most modern Zionists. This has to change and therefore I can only bless and be thankful for people like Yehuda Glick and many others like him who are willing to stress the ultimate importance of this holy mountain!
What made the Jewish people special among all the other nations or Gentiles was the fact that the Almighty God and Creator of heaven and earth chose to dwell among them, first during their long road through Sinai’s desert in a tabernacle specified by Him and later in a glorious Temple on God’s Holy Mount in Jerusalem prepared by King David and built by Solomon His Son. It was this Temple, seat of His divine residence, that made Jerusalem special among all the other cities and capitals of nations of the world. And it will become again a place as no other when the Jewish people will welcome this – His presence – back to this city by building the Temple specifically spelled out in the 8 last chapters of the book of Ezekiel.
It is to this new and rebuilt Temple that the Lord will again make Jerusalem His place of Glorious Residence as Ezekiel himself indeed prophesies:
And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple. (Ezekiel 43:2, 4-5)
No wonder then that finally this amazing and unique city returns to its former ‘status’ – the resident city of the Lord of Israel, when Ezekiel ends these chapters with this amazing verse:
and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE. (Ezekiel 48:35)
May that glorious day soon, soon come, I pray, for that will be God’s final answer to the many, many who have prayed for the peace of Jerusalem which one day all the nations of the world will then see!
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center