November 3, 2023 | Daniel L. Segraves, Ph.D.
A bit earlier this afternoon, I sent a text to my son, Mark, with the following message:
With the war today in the Middle East, Susan (my wife) and I have been following the news much more closely and talking quite a bit about the Jewish people and antisemitism. When Susan was a student at the Apostolic Bible Institute, she worked for a Jewish family in the afternoons when classes were over and on Saturdays, doing light housework and helping with the evening meals. The family was very kind to her, providing a nice upstairs room where she could study and stay overnight when needed. Susan also had the privilege of driving their beautiful Buick convertible if she had need of it when the family was not using it. Susan was very popular in school! She just showed me that our wall oven has an automatic setting for the Sabbath, so devout Jews will not need to violate the Law’s prohibition against lighting a fire on the Sabbath!
That’s interesting! We’ve been praying for the peace of Jerusalem. I think that may be the same as praying, “Jesus, come quickly!”
I answered, “It could very well be!” I had been thinking about Scripture’s command to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but I hadn’t connected it to the idea of praying for the Second Coming. So Mark’s comment provoked me to check and see what John H. Sailhamer, one of my favorite seminary professors, may have said about this idea. I had the privilege of taking two classes from Sailhamer when I was working on my Master of Theology degree at Western Seminary. The first was his class on Psalms and Daniel, which transformed my thinking on Psalms so that I wrote a 382 page book titled The Messiah in the Psalms: Discovering Christ in Unexpected Places (Hazelwood, MO: WAP Academic, 2007). This book is available at pentecostalpublishing.com and in the Kindle format from Amazon.com. I am also working now on the second volume of this commentary on Psalms, which I hope to have in publication by the time of the 2024 general conference of the United Pentecostal Church International.
So, I turned to Sailhamer’s thoughts on Psalm 122 and read these words:
To pray for the peace of Jerusalem is to pray for the coming of the Promised Seed of David, the Messiah.
Jerusalem is mentioned by name three times in Psalm 122. There is a reference to the house of David. It is a good thing to meditate on the entire psalm:
A Song of Ascents. Of David.
1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.” 2 Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem! 3 Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact together, 4 Where the tribes go up, The tribes of the LORD, To the Testimony of Israel, To give thanks to the name of the LORD. 5 For thrones are set there for judgment, The thrones of the house of David. 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you. 7 Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.” 8 For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” 9 Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good. [NKJV] [archive]