May 14—A Day to Remember!
By Charles E. McCracken
For those who love Israel and routinely pray for the peace of Jerusalem, May 14, 2018 is a day to remember! The prelude to today’s ceremonies surrounding the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem played-out on December 6, 2017 when President Donald J. Trump spoke from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.
President Trump’s courageous announcement sent shock waves around the globe when he officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital; and then, revealed plans to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the Eternal City. Much of the media treated the announcement as impulsive and even irrational, but failed to provide the context for the president’s decision.
Jerusalem’s legitimacy as the undivided capital of the State of Israel not only has a solid historical precedent, but a legislative priority as adopted by both houses of the U.S. Congress on November 8, 1995. Legally known as the “Jerusalem Embassy Act,” Congress recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel, called for Jerusalem to remain an undivided city and allocated funds for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem by May 31, 1999.
Two decades and three administrations have since passed. Every six months, presidents have routinely postponed the move via waiver for fear of antagonizing Israel’s enemies—a strategy that failed to achieve the objective. There have been two Intifadas and a seemingly endless wave of terrorism despite deferring implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act.
Jerusalem and the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have been inseparably intertwined for 3,000-plus years. The stronghold of Jebus became the new capital and the location of David’s royal residence in 1,000 B.C. when the tribes of Israel were still gathered following his coronation as King of Israel (2 Sam. 24:18). Shortly thereafter, David moved the Ark of the Covenant with plans to make Jerusalem not just the seat of governance, but the spiritual center for united Israel (2 Sam. 6:12). (1)
David’s son, Solomon, completed the task of building the First Temple in ancient Jerusalem. And following the Babylonian exile, construction on the Second Temple began in 536 B.C. with help from Cyrus King of Persia (Ezra 1:1-11).
The Jewish people have maintained Jerusalem as central to their political and spiritual identity from the time of David to the current Diaspora. When the Jewish population of the British Mandate of Palestine accepted Resolution 181 of the United Nations Partition Plan on November 29, 1947, the Arab population rejected it outright. (2)
Later when Israel declared independence as a sovereign nation in 1948, five armies invaded with a determination to annihilate the newly reborn state. During Israel’s yearlong War of Independence, Jordan invaded and gained control of the biblical heartland of Judea – Samaria, illegally annexed the region as a part of Transjordan and began calling the area the “West Bank.”
Consequent to the combined attack of Israel by hostile neighboring states, the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria were forced to flee ahead of the invading armies. Those remaining were executed thereby effectively eliminating all Jewish residents. During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish people were forbidden entry to the West Bank including the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
That reality changed in 1967 when in a defensive war for survival against the armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan (reinforced by Iraq), Israel regained the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria along with Jordanian occupied East Jerusalem. For the first time since 1948, Jewish people were able to enter the Old City of Jerusalem with access to the holiest and most revered sites in Israel—the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Via radio broadcast, Moshe Dayan addressed the nation:
“We have united Jerusalem, the divided capital of Israel. We have returned to the holiest of our holy places, never to part from it again.” (3)
On June 27, 1967, Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem making the Eternal City the undivided capital. For 51 years, Jerusalem has been the unified capital of the modern State of Israel.
Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is long overdue. The prophet Isaiah captures the proper response to the ceremony that took place earlier today:
“Rejoice with Jerusalem,
And be glad with her, all you who love her;
Rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her” (Isa.66:10).
More than 2,700 years ago, Isaiah urged us to rejoice with Jerusalem! Jerusalem is mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible and is the only city where God has chosen to place His name (2 Chron. 7:16).
Today, signage with the Jerusalem Embassy Act stands on display in front of the newly opened U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel! For people of faith living in the 21st century, the prophetic implications are staggering. Mark your calendar.
The fourteenth of May, however, is not just the day that President Trump made history; it is the day Israel was reborn 70 years ago!
AM ISRAEL CHAI!
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken authentically communicates biblical truth making his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2018, comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via Contact Form under ABOUT. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added).
1) “The New Capital (1 Chronicles 11:7-9),” by Charles E. McCracken, via the website.
2) “The Partition Plan – UNGA Resolution 181, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
3) “Statement at the Western Wall by Defense Minister Moshe Dayan,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
1) Israeli and American flags fly side by side in Jerusalem. By zeevveez, Jerusalem, Israel [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Screenshot: Signage in front of the U.S. Embassy, Jerusalem, Israel. via the Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. Facebook page.
3) Screenshot: Commemorative Plaque on the front of the U.S. Embassy, Jerusalem, Israel. via the Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. Facebook page.