Israel 2020 – Lesson 3: Could It Be? Jerusalem, Jerusalem

by | Feb 28, 2020 | Special Series | 1 comment


Today, we’re bringing you another installment of our Israel 2020 series, written by Sister Ruth Gehly. Look for this series every Friday and Saturday for the next few weeks!

As our tour bus meandered its way through the Jordan Valley into the arid hills of the Judaean desert, our guide pointed out that short green grass was blooming on the sandy hills. This phenomenon typically occurs for a very short period of time each year. Yet, while we were there, a great blessing was occurring. The desert had been blooming for many weeks, a phenomenon that was not common.

Could it be that God’s hand is moving? Could it be that the time is drawing nigh for deserts to bloom again … for the life and spirit of a nation to be restored? Quite suddenly, an excited wonder — a need for something more — quelled from deep within. Very unexpectedly, tears slid down my cheeks.

Broken Silence

Dusk was closing in, and everyone was quiet. In those quiet moments, a song my childhood Sunday school teacher used to sing reverently broke the silence, calling our attention to what we were about to behold.

The Holy City

One night while I was sleeping I had a dream so fair
I stood in old Jerusalem, beside the temple there
I heard the children singing and ever as they sang
I thought the voice of Angels, from Heaven in answer rang
I thought the voice of Angels, from Heaven in answer rang

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Hark how the angels sing
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna to your King

And then I thought my dream was changed, the streets no longer rang
As with the glad Hosannas, that the little children sang
The sun grew dark with mystery, and the morn was cold and chilled
As the shadow of a cross arose, upon a lonely hill
As the shadow of a cross arose, upon a lonely hill

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Lift up your gates and sing!
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna to your King

And once again my dream was changed, new earth there seemed to be
I saw the Holy City beside the crystal sea
The light of God was on its streets, and the gates were open wide
That all who would might enter and no one was denied
No need of moon or the stars by night or the sun to shine by day
It was the new Jerusalem that would not pass away
It was the new Jerusalem that would not pass away

Jerusalem, Jerusalem
Sing for the night is o’er
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna for evermore
Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna for evermore

Could it be that God’s hand is moving? Could it be that the time is drawing nigh when nations scattered abroad will hear the call, beckoning them to come home? Quite unexpectedly, the yearning to be there became so strong, I felt like a child who was about to receive a gift that I had desired for a very, very long time. Somewhat shyly and uncomfortably, tears began to flow more freely as I listened, sang, and anticipated…Jerusalem…Jerusalem…

Rocks Cry Out

Standing on Mount Scopus, the highest bluff overlooking the city, my weeping could not be contained because of consuming humbleness and gratefulness.

Before me lay Jerusalem, a city teeming with life, a place where ancient history and modern cultures collide and now manage to co-exist.

Beneath all the layers visible to the eye lay the city where long, long ago Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek and great kings reigned.

Before me lay The Holy City, in all of her glory, where light overcame darkness, where redemption overcame sin, where divine love was manifested for me.

In that single moment, I was filled with a depth of love and compassion for the people of the world that surpassed any I had ever known. And in that moment I heard it … the rocks of the city gates and walls crying Hosanna to her King and beckoning for her children to come home.

“Hear the Call Across the Water” (Songs of Zion No. 62)

Hear the call across the water, there’s excitement in the air,
For the Mother’s been delivered and she wants her fam’ly there.
It’s a nation born in sorrow but the sorrow’s soon forgot
When the mother sees the baby that the labor pains have brought.
Call the poorest cast-off people from the corners of the earth,
For the mother wants her children home to celebrate the birth.

Hear the call across the water, there’s a message on the waves
Calling to the farthest regions, reaching to the deepest caves.
There’s a land where God’s exalted, it’s a land from sin and free.
It’s a nation born of promise, land of prayer and liberty.
It’s a time for reuniting, there’s a gath’ring in the air.
There’s an invitation pending, and your Mother’s waiting there.

There’s a stirring on the water, there’s a movement toward the land.
There’s a Mother on the seashore with a young child by the hand.
There’s a pathway through the ocean, there’s a highway thru the air,
And the feeble knees are quickened when they see fair Zion there.
There’s a multitude of nations, running thru the wat’ry way.
And the mother dries her tears now, for her fam’ly’s home today.

It was more than I ever expected. It was more than I could have ever hoped or imagined. It was more than my feeble words can begin to express.

Brothers and sisters, the rocks are crying out. The call is very, very real. The time to labor in Zion is now, and we all must do our part.

Israel Eastern Gate Jerusalem

Eastern Gate, Jerusalem, looking up at the city wall from the Garden of Gethsemane

Feature Photo: Old City Jerusalem, our first glimpse from Mt. Scopus

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.


  • Sister Ruth Marie (Curry) Gehly

    Sister Ruth Marie lives in McKean (Erie), Pennsylvania, with the love of her life, Brother Joel. Now celebrating 35+ adventurous years together, anticipating many more to come!

1 Comment

  1. Teri-Lyn Tunno

    I can not even imagine the magnitude of emotion you must have felt and truly understood when you stood there overlooking Jerusalem. The beauty in the songs are the wonderful words to remember what is to come.


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