The New Testament gospels speak frequently of the Second Coming of Christ. However, the Old Testament has far more references to the millennial kingdom which Christ will establish than it does to His First Advent. Old Testament prophecies blend into one on this subject which is the reason for much confusion when Jesus came in the first century. He said He was the Son of Man, the Messiah who would sit on the throne of David, but no physical kingdom gushed forth from His claims.
Psalm 87 is another of the prophecies of the magnificent kingdom to come. In this psalm, the prominence of Jerusalem is mentioned: “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah.” Zion is Jerusalem (v.2) the city of God. Few today can scarcely believe Jerusalem will become the capital of the world. If you travel to the Middle East, you might name much more suitable locations for the seat of worldwide government. The Arabs have built the magnificent city of Dubai that glistens in the sun with more splendor than the imagination can conceive. Jerusalem pales in comparison if not for beauty then certainly for location.
Dubai is just one example but it serves as a good one because of the billions of dollars that have been spent to build it gleaned from the sales of oil. By contrast, one wonders how such riches could be so near to Israel and yet there are no oil fields in the country or other highly valuable resources in great quantities. Natural gas has been discovered, but who builds cities like Dubai on the back of natural gas?
If you want a taste of minerals in Israel (literally!) go to the Dead Sea and take a swim. You will wear Israel’s minerals in a yucky coating on your skin. The point is there is no attraction for Jerusalem. It has its tourist trade because of its history and connection with Christ, but little more. It has no strategic value for any of the world’s governments.
When Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon, there were no kings that said, “We must rebuild this city!” When a decree was made to rebuild the temple, it was soon shut down because of opposition from those who remembered Jerusalem as more a thorn in their sides than anything. They reasoned another temple in that city meant nothing but rebellion.
Why does the psalmist say, “Glorious things of thee are spoken?” The reason is for what Jerusalem will become. No one would choose this city, but God did. God chose the land and gave it no oil fields because He intends its riches will flow from heaven, not from the ground. Never has Israel been great for natural resources, vast population, or powerful armies. God needs none of these. He always told His people to come to Him for their help.
Our God intends to have a glorious city that will have a new temple gleaming with the brightness of the glory of His Son. All nations will come there and bow before Him. It is required and all will come to render obeisance. Jerusalem will be a lifetime destination made so by the God who chose her.
It is a strange thing when today you cannot even land a commercial airliner anywhere near the city. It is a travel destination that travelers have difficulty reaching, but it will change. All roads will lead there in the great Messianic Kingdom. Glorious things of her are spoken—not now but then.
Pastor V. Mark Smith