As I often do when reading scripture, I immerse myself. I mentally and sometimes emotionally see myself in the scriptures. In other words, I dive into the words (no pun intended!). How does the verse or passage relate to me and/or my journey? What is God speaking? What would He have me see? Know?
Reading Psalm 79 the other day, I fell into the first verse! Want to come with me? The water is nice and warm!
O God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance;
They have defiled Your holy temple;
They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
Under the Old Covenant, Jerusalem was the city that housed the Holy Temple (God’s dwelling place) and was often used synonymously with the Temple. In the New Covenant, the Apostle Paul tells us we are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19).
You are Jerusalem. I am Jerusalem. I am a holy temple. God dwells within me. I am Jesus’s inheritance; the reason He surrendered His flesh on the cross. With this in mind, as I read the first verse, I was struck by its truth. The nations, that is, the world (or flesh or kingdom of darkness or the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. . . Ephesians 6:12) has invaded God’s people, defiled us, and left us in ruins. That is, IF we continue to choose the world over our Savior.
We were/are all prisoners at some point. Jesus came to set us free!! To give liberty. So, I say yes to Him because He said yes to me. I cry for others as Asaph cried, “Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power preserve those who are doomed to die” (Psalm 79:11). Give Life eternal!
Since reading this Psalm, a new song has been on my lips and in my heart: I am Jerusalem. God dwells in me. Below is my attempt to capture this song through a bit of prose.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Holy City of God
Where the Divine dwells.
Dust blows through your ruins.
Dry bones and voices whisper of death.
The old has passed away.
Where is the new?
I look to men. I look to the earth. I look to the heavens.
Where, O where is Jerusalem?
“Shake yourself from the dust, rise up,
O captive Jerusalem;
Loose yourself from the chains around your neck. . .”
You are defended and saved for the sake of the Living God.
Man cannot rebuild. Only He.
You are chosen, ransomed, set free.
In Passion, the veil was torn.
Now You are with us, among us.
We are Your people.
Behold, You are making all things new.
Your glory fills the new Jerusalem.
I am alive with Your Presence.
Here, Your temple stands.
Dwell in me,
For I am Jerusalem.
No longer does sacrifice appease You.
Only a broken and contrite heart,
Humbly I offer.
Rebuild the ruins, O God.
Breathe into me.
I am Your Jerusalem.