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Eight Years Ago

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 8:00 am

Musings and Memories

By Doug Dezotell

It was 8 years ago when Lynn and I stood together on the Mount of Olives overlooking the City of Jerusalem.

We stood there in wonder, reflecting on all that we had been told about the Nation of Israel; from childhood Sunday school classes on until present day Bible studies.

Unlike today, Israel was at peace 8 years ago, but throughout that Nation’s history there has been one conflict after another.

On that cool and breezy morning in 2017 my heart was flooded with awe as I looked out across the Kidron Valley toward the ancient walls of that Holy City in the distance.

It had been the City of Kings

King David had lived there. The former sheep herder from the village of Bethlehem, declared Jerusalem as his capitol city (Jerusalem means foundation of peace, or city of peace).

David’s son, King Solomon, built a beautiful Temple for the Jewish God on the summit of what was called Mount Zion.

It became the home of all the Kings of Judah that followed Solomon.

I imagined the biblical history laid out before Lynn and me, and my thoughts focused in on the One the Holy Scriptures called The Son of David, Jesus the Christ, The Son of God, The Messiah, The Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, God with us!

I imagined that Holy One, Jesus the Christ, standing on that same precipice as He overlooked Jerusalem and wept for her, time and time again.

I imagined Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords standing there with His disciples prior to their descent into the Valley and through the Gates of Jerusalem, all those many centuries ago.

They may have stood there on that spot every time they stayed in Bethany, the village on the Mount of Olives, where they were the guests of their friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

Every time King Jesus and His disciples visited Jerusalem they stayed in Bethany, which was just a few miles away from the City of Kings and the Temple where the Jewish people worshipped the One True God.

Standing there on the Mount of Olives, I thought back to that Sunday as Jesus and His disciples went down the road toward Jerusalem and into a week that would change the course of human history forever.

Knowing what lay ahead for Jerusalem, Jesus began to weep, and He said:  “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” (Luke 19:41-44)

Jesus foreknew that in 70 AD, the armies of the Roman Empire would march upon Jerusalem and destroy all that lay within its walls.

Israel and Jerusalem has known war and oppression for century upon centuries.

And the City of Peace is involved in conflict once again.

And once again, our God is weeping over Israel and His Holy City.

David wrote in Psalm 122:6-7, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.”

Please join me in praying for Peace; in Israel, and Gaza, and here in the United States.

Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Cannon UMC, and a columnist for the Bedford County Post. You can contact him at or by calling 931-607-5191