A song of ascents. Of David.
1 I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
2 Our feet are standing
in your gates, Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built like a city
that is closely compacted together.
4 That is where the tribes go up—
the tribes of the Lord—
to praise the name of the Lord
according to the statute given to Israel.
5 There stand the thrones for judgment,
the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7 May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
8 For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.”
9 For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
I will seek your prosperity.
This psalm relays David’s joy over the City of Jerusalem, a place both he and God called “home.” Jerusalem is unique and significant. It is the pride and joy of the Jewish people, the City of David, the location of the Temple Mount, and part of the land God swore to Abraham long ago (Genesis 12:1; Exodus 6:6-8). There is also an argument to be made that Jerusalem will be a “bellwether” for the end times (Ezekiel 36:28; Zechariah 12:3; 14:2-4; Luke 21:24). For these reasons, many take verse 6 to be a mandate for the church as God continues to have His eye on Jerusalem and its people.
And yet, both the city and the Temple were decisively destroyed. By God. Twice. This shows that God is not bound to a geographical location, and has no need for temples built by human hands (Isaiah 66:1-2). The New Testament makes as much as clear, even to the point of denigrating the “present city of Jerusalem” in order to extol the “Jerusalem that is above” (Galatians 4:21-31).
The Bible frequently speaks of the New, or Heavenly, Jerusalem as the true dwelling place for God and His people (Hebrews 12:22). The saying goes, “home is where the heart is.” It is equally true that God is where His people are. Collectively and individually Christians are said to constitute the “temple of God” (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). Therefore, it doesn’t matter where we worship, but how we worship (John 4:23-24).
While we cannot go wrong praying for Jerusalem and for the salvation of the Jewish people, the point of this sermon is that we make God at home in the places we call “home.” And in so doing, we pray for peace and seek the prosperity of our communities. We are to love the place where God has us and the people He has put around us.
HOW TO PRAY FOR PEACE
- Pray continually (Luke 18:1-2)
- Give thanks (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Timothy 2:1)
- Pray for unbelievers to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
- Pray for families (Malachi 4:6)
- Pray for churches (Ephesians 6:18)
- Pray for civil magistrates (Proverbs 29:4)
- Pray for the poor and hurting (Proverbs 21:13)
- Pray for prosperity (Proverbs 14:34)
HOW TO SEEK PROSPERITY
- Get married, have kids, disciple them (Malachi 2:15; Jeremiah 29:6)
- Support your local church (1 Timothy 3:14-15; Hebrews 10:25)
- Makes friends with your neighbors and serve them (Proverbs 27:10; Luke16:9)
- Buy property and establish yourself (Jeremiah 29:5)
- Start businesses or support existing businesses (Deuteronomy 8:18)
- Get involved in politics (Exodus 18:21)
Practical ways to get involved in your community:
- Attend a City Council Meeting
- Join a Board or Commission
- Become a poll worker
- Volunteer for A Local Candidate’s Campaign
- Run or apply for County/City Office or Position
Now which office is right for you? Here’s a list to consider:
- Mayor: As head of the municipal government, oversee all city services, enforce city laws, and approve/veto city legislation.
- City Manager: Manage day-to-day operations of the city and oversee the city budget.
- City Treasurer: Closely handle the allocation of the city budget and the collection of city taxes.
- City Auditor: Oversee the city’s finances and prepare fiscal reports for the city.
- City Law Director: Represent the city in civil and criminal cases and offer legal advice for the city government.
- President of City Council: Act as the head of the City Council, which is the primary legislative body of the city. City Ward Councilman, Councilwoman/Alderman, Alderwoman: Represent your district as a member of the City
- Council to draft and implement legislation.
- At-Large Councilman, Councilwoman: Represent the entire city as a member of the City Council, rather than just your district.
- Township/Village Trustee/Town Council: Be a spokesperson for the town in state government issues.
- School Board Member/School Board President: Supervise the education system for the city and create policies to improve schools.
- Precinct Committeeman, Committeewoman: Work as a liaison between your community and a political party and have a voice in the organization of the party in your city. County Government
- Board of County Commissioners: Represent your district on this board to establish policies and oversee the operations of the county.
- County Executive: Act as the head of the county’s executive government, oversee all departments, and manage the county budget.
- County Auditor: Oversee the county’s finances and prepare fiscal reports for the local government. * County Engineer: Advise the local government on the county’s transportation and supervise the public works department.
- County Treasurer: Collect county-mandated taxes and disseminate funds based on the county budget. * County Prosecuting Attorney: Represent the county in all cases of misdemeanors and felonies under state law, along with other civil cases.
- County Coroner: Confirm the death of individuals within the county and conduct any necessary investigations into the death.
- County Recorder: Record and maintain a public permanent record for the county and handle voter registration lists.
- County Sheriff: Provides law enforcement services and/or jail services for a county
Wherever we call “home” let us pray for peace and work for prosperity!