The Significance of Jerusalem
by James R. Watkins
The Middle East continues to languish in conflict, terror, violence, bloodshed, bad government, etcetera, etcetera, and it is important to put some context into it so that we can all have a better grasp of exactly why there is such controversy of Jerusalem being officially recognized as the capital of Israel.
First and most importantly, Jerusalem, or its former name Salem, was the home to monotheism.
Almost four-thousand years ago, Salem was also where Abraham embraced monotheism and became a spiritual leader spreading the message of “One God over many,” throughout what would later become known as Palestine.
Monotheism, for those who don’t know, was at first only embraced by the Hebrew faith, and since many surrounding tribes, which later became nations unto themselves, persecuted these early believers in “One God over many,” even down through the Babylonian times when the Hebrews were enslaved for hundreds of years, conflicts have never stopped between the Jews and the surrounding tribes who had different religious ideas. Owing to this deeply-held religious faith in the Lord One God – in direct competition to the many gods of the many races of men who have inhabited this region since ancient times – peace has never come to Palestine. The Jews were scattered around the globe for this reason, until in 1948 when they returned home.
It was this stick-to-it-ness, this uncompromising faith in One God over many that was deeply held by the Hebrews, the same Hebrews who gave us Isaac, Jacob, Ezekiel, Moses, and the long line of prophets they still teach us about in Sunday school.
It was this same monotheism that prepared the world for the later arrival of the Son of God, Jesus. So it was that the Hebrew faith prepared mankind for a later revelation of spiritual truth of One God over many that later transformed to the One father of all, the God of all humanity,;and it was this teaching that laid the foundation for the Greeks, Romans, later, the early Christians, and even to some extent, through the teachings of Zoroastrianism, an offshoot of the Abrahamic teachings that heavily influenced Islam in the 7th Century.
Forget not that the Jews paid a heavy price for clinging to their faith during these ancient times, and had it not been for the Jewish people, the one-God concept might have been lost to mankind. And if the modern age, influenced as it was by the combination of Christ’s teachings, Roman Law and Greek philosophy at large, had not began with one simple principle (Monotheism, or one God in the place of many), the very words “endowed by our Creator,” would have no meaning in the modern world.
We have the Jewish people to thank for this. Their steadfastness to their faith for two-thousand years (going to back to 2,000 b.c.e), made it possible for the rest of us to enjoy many of the so-called ‘Human Rights,’ that we have today, for human rights mean nothing unless they are made so by a divine Creator who bestows such ‘rights,’ a God of love and of salvation.
Having Jerusalem recognized as the capital of Israel is historical, not because of its political implications, but because of its spiritual implications. The birth place of monotheism, and the people who endured in order to keep the idea of monotheism alive, is now established by the laws of man in recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of this one-time home to Abraham, where advanced truth appeared over four-thousand years ago.