January 6: Beginnings

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…And God said Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so, And God called the dry land Earth: and the gathering together of the waters called He, Seas and God saw that it was good.” Gen. 1:1, 9-10

Everything but God has a beginning, a time of creation, a starting point, a commencement, and so it is with Jerusalem. According to Jewish traditions, the creation of the world began with the setting of the Foundation stone, the Even ha Shetiyahi in Hebrew, on Mt. Moriah. The world was formed around it. For Isaiah declares “Thus saith the LORD, Behold I lay in Zion a foundation for a stone…a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation.”

Here the LORD GOD began His work. Here the Eternal City was founded. And from this point, the world grew out in all directions, with Jerusalem being the center of all. Today, on Mt. Moriah, which is now known as the Temple Mount, there lies an area of exposed bedrock under the Dome of the Rock. This is the Foundation Stone.

The Talmud records that God formed Adam first from the dust of Moriah. After he was driven from the Garden of Eden, Adam returned to this spot to first offer a sacrifice to God. One tradition relates that Adam lived in Jerusalem all his life. Later, Cain and Abel, and Noah would use this altar to offer their gifts before God. Abraham was directed by God to go to this Mount and offer Isaac here. A location so holy and honored in that, in the distant future, King David would purchase it from Oran and stay God’s judgment while Solomon would set the Altar of sacrifice here.

Jerusalem is founded on solid limestone bedrock, immovable and sure. The city has been here for some 4,000 years, and will be for all eternity. David affirms the everlastingness of Jerusalem in his Psalms decreeing that “God will establish it forever.” There is no greater honor for those who love this city then to know its future inheritance. David envisioned it, recording the LORD’s enduring promise: “For the LORD Hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest forever here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Ps. 132:13-14). John saw “the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride for her husband. “

The Foundation stone on Mt. Moriah foreshadows the coming of a greater one. The Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lord is prefigured as the rock of ages. He is as the prophet foretold “the chief corner stone,” elect, precious, which is laid in Zion. For some, this Rock is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, but Peter counsels “He that believeth in him shall not be confounded. “

A Word from the LORD

In the eons before time, I chose Jerusalem. I fashioned it with my hands. I caused the seas to recede, the rocks to rise, and the valleys to fall away. I placed my Holy Name here. I saw to it that my city would be set on a high hill. Here, it would stand out like a beacon of light, where all would see it. Here my servant Abraham would seek to offer his son Isaac. Here David would be king, and Solomon would build a Temple for Me. Here the prophets would speak.

I prepared this city to receive My Son. Here He would teach, perform miracles, and give His life for you. It was here that He also arose in fullness of life. It was from Jerusalem, that He would ascend into the heavens to sit at My right hand. It was here that I sent Holy Spirit to empower all who believed. And it is from here that My Son will return to reign and rule. Jerusalem will be an eternal city, the seat of My Son’s Kingdom. And it is here that you will come, rejoice, and find welcome forever in My House.

Devotional Prayer

Tradition accords that Augustus Toplady composed the hymn “Rock of Ages” after being caught outdoors in a thunderstorm. He found shelter in the cleft of a rock, and while waiting out the storm’s wrath became inspired to write this hymn. May we make his plea our prayer:

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure

Scriptural Reflections

“His foundation is in the holy mountains” (Ps. 87:1).

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made” (Jn. 1:1-3).

“For as in Adam, all die even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (l Cor. 15:22).

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance obeyed and he went out, not knowing whither he went…..For he looked for a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11: 8,10).

 

 

 

Jerusalem, Lest I Forget Thee by Gene Little
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