On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
His bold and courageous action was reminiscent of President Harry Truman when he ensured the United States was the first nation to officially recognize the State of Israel moments after David Ben Gurion read Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948. Both men acted in the face of great opposition.
Why it took seven decades for the United States to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital can easily be blamed on politics. However, we know there is a great spiritual battle at play that resists recognizing Jerusalem’s place in Israel’s history. Since the day King David conquered the Jebusite city 3,000 years ago and established it as the capital city of the Jewish people, it has never served as the capital of any other nation. There has never been a sovereign nation of Palestine in the history of the world, and Jerusalem has never been its capital.
Israel is the only nation with a God-given right to the land and the city, and it is the only nation with a historic claim to Jerusalem as its capital. Jerusalem is the city of God, where God placed His house, the Temple, to dwell with Israel. It is the unique city where He has written His name. It is the city where God has promised to someday set His only begotten Son, the Messiah, on the throne of David to rule over Israel and the world. God has never given Jerusalem to any other nation, or people, including the Church.
The justification for a divided Jerusalem has no basis in history. What men label as East Jerusalem is, in fact, the ancient, historic city of Jerusalem. It includes the City of David, the Temple Mount, Calvary, and the tomb where Jesus was buried until His resurrection. All of the major Jewish and Christian sacred biblical sites in Jerusalem are contained within the area men are calling East Jerusalem.
President Trump’s action on December 6 recognizes the fact that Jerusalem belongs to Israel. He has walked where U.S. presidents before him have failed to tread. With this recognition, he has instructed the U.S. State Department to make plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Let’s pray it follows his directive and the U.S. embassy moves soon to the City of Gold.
The significance of the president’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital cannot be overstated. It will change the dynamics of future peace negotiations, as the greatest national power in the world today has made it official that an undivided Jerusalem, both east and west, belongs to the Jewish people. It removes from the negotiating table the question “To whom does Jerusalem belong?” and allows negotiators to focus on the real issues that prevent peace, such as the Arab refusal to recognize and accept the State of Israel. The U.S. recognition also stands in opposition to recent efforts of the United Nations and Europe to claim that Israel has no historical connection to its ancient city.
In the days of President Truman, after he officially recognized the new State of Israel, other nations followed suit. Our hope is that other nations will once again follow the U.S. lead and recognize Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish nation.
Jim Showers, D.Min.