Isaiah 62:6–7: “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem, / They shall never hold their peace day or night. / You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, / And give Him no rest till He establishes / And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

December 21st, 2014 by Pastor Ed in devotional

These words, written by Isaiah 2700 years ago, seemed like a complete impossibility until very recent times. The land of Israel lay desolate for almost 19 centuries. The once proud city of Jerusalem was reduced to a dirty, lifeless, small city, ignored by most of the world.

Beloved American writer Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, traveled to Israel in the 1860s and wrote about it in his book, The Innocents Abroad.

[The] soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds—a silent, mournful expanse, wherein we saw only three persons . . . A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action . . . We never saw a human being on the whole route . . . We pressed on toward the goal of our crusade, renowned Jerusalem. The further we went the hotter the sun got, and the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became . . . There was hardly a tree or a shrub any where. Even the olive tree and the cactus, those fast friends of a worthless soil, had almost deserted the country . . . Jerusalem is mournful, and dreary, and lifeless . . . Palestine sits in sackcloth and ashes. Over it broods the spell of a curse that has withered its field and fettered its energies . . . Palestine is desolate and unlovely. And why should it be otherwise? Can the curse of a Deity beautify a land? Palestine [or what we call the holy land] is no more of this work-day world. It is sacred to poetry and tradition—it is dream-land.

But when we look at Israel today, we recognize that God is moving in the earth. Rare is the evening news or the daily newspaper that does not contain some mention of Israel in this modern world. And while there is still much strife and war in Jerusalem, it is no longer an abandoned, desolate land, but is again alive and flourishing. So we wait, with hopeful expectation, for the day that this verse is completely fulfilled and Jerusalem is “a praise in the earth.”

“Come quickly, Lord Jesus, we pray this day.”