For most of the week, Jerusalem is really noisy. That’s one reason why I love Friday nights. It’s so quiet. Tonight, though, was an obvious exception. It started around sunset, with the deafening sound of air raid sirens. That lasted for less than a minute. Then, moments after the alarm stopped, we heard two distinct thuds in the distance—they were bombs that exploded about seven miles from our apartment.
After that, we heard the most disconcerting sound of all: Palestinians celebrating explosions that were happening in their own city. It was sobering reminder of how deep and bitter the division is within Jerusalem.
Earlier today, thousands of angry Palestinians rallied across the West Bank in a show of support for their brethren in Gaza. This was the tense scene at the Damascus Gate here in Jerusalem:
Judging by these images—and the sounds we heard coming from East Jerusalem tonight—it surely won’t be that much longer before this city explodes in violence, just as God prophesied in Zechariah 14: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (verse 1-2).
Here Zechariah gives us the big overview of prophesied events at the end of this age. He starts with the Day of the Lord and works backward. First, God says, I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle. This refers to when Jesus Christ will gather the armies of this world just before He sets foot on the Mount of Olives.
But before that happens, it says Jerusalem shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished. This refers to the European king of the north conquering Jerusalem after it smashes the Islamic king of the south.
And before all of that, God says half of Jerusalem will go into captivity. This refers to the Islamic conquest of East Jerusalem.
That is what’s prophesied to happen next in Jerusalem. And you can hear it coming if you listen closely. But take heart, because this noisy and violent split of Jerusalem will trigger a series of events that culminate in the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth! ▪