May 26: An Ensign for the People

“And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isaiah 11:12

Jerusalem is a city of banners. Everywhere you look there are standards flying. High about the Old City walls near the Jaffa Gate streams the yellow and white flag of the Vatican. The French Tri-Color waves over the nearby Consulate of France. The British, Turkish, Spanish, and American flags among others wave over the city. The United Nations also allows its emblem to freely stream over its zones.

Even the Palestinian Authority seeks to post its ensign over sites in Jerusalem. It is as if, the world’s powers seek to affirm their right of possession to this city.

Visiting heads of state are also welcomed to Jerusalem. Their nation’s ensigns are unfurled on all the main streets. The United Nations, in agreement with the world’s leading nations, has proposed that Jerusalem should be made an international city. This demand runs counter to Israel’s government which has repeatedly affirmed that “Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people and will remain under Israeli sovereignty for eternity.” The UN and its leading nations therefore have rejected Israel’s proclamation.

There is a day, not long off though, where the coming King Messiah shall set up his ensign in Jerusalem. There will none other than the King’s banner be displayed. The nations shall come under His rule and flock to Jerusalem. The outcasts, the dispersed of Israel, and the gentiles shall come to this united city and worship as one.

An Ensign for the Nations
Jesus Christ is an ensign for the nations. His words of life still beckon men and women: “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me” (Jn. 12:32). Like the brass serpent in the desert which brought healing to the children of Israel when they beheld it, Christ brings life to those who see the Son of man lifted up (Num. 21:8-9; Jn. 3:14). “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:15).

The LORD God is also fulfilling His word, for He is bringing Israel and Judah back to their land. Like Jeremiah prophesied, the LORD is accomplishing this task, enjoining Israel and Jacob to fear not, neither be dismayed “For lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid” (Jer. 30:10).

A Word of the LORD:
I am a God who rides the heavens. My banner proclaims my everlasting sovereignty. I am Jehovah Tsidkene, the LORD of Righteousness. The cross is my standard, a sign that strikes fear to its enemies; and a sign which strengthens my followers with joy. My banner speaks of my wondrous love for you. My armies can never be defeated for I have gotten the victory.

Does not my Word say? Does it not proclaim:

“Behold, the days will come saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch and a King shall reign and prosper and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and his name whereby he shall be called, The LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jer.23:5-6)

I am the Good Shepherd. I came to gather up the lost sheep of Israel. And as the shepherd for my people, I still leave the ninety and nine to look for and save the one. I will rescue that one and take that person into my arms and carry that soul to safety.

Devotional Prayer
LORD, we thank you for your words and promises. Jerusalem will be transformed by your presence. John saw the day when “the glory of God shall lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. The nations which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth will bring their glory and honor into it” (Rev. 21:23-24). There will be no strange banner over it, for “the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord.”

And then, our Savior, our Messiah, Jesus Christ “shall reign forever and ever.” We too shall be like the four and twenty elders which sit before God. We shall fall on our faces and worship God for the great things He has done.

Scriptural Reflections
“And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi” (The LORD our banner), (Ex. 17:15).

“We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all our petitions” (Ps. 20:5).

“SO shall they fear, the name of the LORD from the west and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Is. 59:19).

 

 

Jerusalem, Lest I Forget Thee by Gene Little
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