JERUSALEM, Israel – On Thursday, President Trump announced his long-awaited, and somewhat expected, decision to postpone relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Signing the waiver gives him a breather – for at least six months – to think about – and hopefully pray about – whether that was the right decision.
Former President Barack Obama signed 16 waivers during his two terms in office. Before Obama, there was George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The embassy act was passed during Clinton's first term in 1995.
For more than two decades, three presidents have postponed enacting the legislation requiring the move – the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act. Two decades!
President Trump's campaign promise to move the embassy is well known. His personal conviction seems to be that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and therefore foreign embassies should be there too.
That really seems to be his intention. He thinks out of the box and that move is out of the box from a lot of people's point of view. He's made no secret of his support for the Jewish state by including Israel on his first official trip abroad as president.
Yes, it was a whirlwind tour – 30 hours – that included carefully chosen venues where videographers and photographers could record for all the world to see and think about his visit.
Here in Israel, many people prayed that God would touch the president personally and deeply.
Maybe his mind was made up when he came here. He wasn't saying – and even that was kind of a hint.
In the end, he decided to sign the waiver and it's been posted as breaking news.
Before being elected president, Donald J. Trump had a pretty full life. His accomplishments are impressive, to say the least. He did a lot for others too, giving generously to worthy causes, without a huge amount of fanfare. He didn't need to talk about it.
But with all his life experiences, he's never taken on anything bigger than Jerusalem – the city the world describes as sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. And so it is from a human point of view.
But not from God's point of view.
Daniel understood that God puts kings in place and removes them.
"And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding." (Daniel 2:21)
And a very wise king wrote in the Book of Proverbs, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter. As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable." (Proverbs 25:2-3)
God has not abdicated His throne. Neither does anything get by Him. Nothing, absolutely nothing, takes Him by surprise. He is never caught off guard.
His plan for Israel, for Jerusalem and the world at large is recorded for anyone who's interested. The Bible not only preserves the history of the Jewish people, it also reveals God's heart.
It's all there, meticulously written and preserved. Jerusalem is beloved in the sight of the Lord. Psalm 122 is one of many places that admonishes people to pray.
"I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.' Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord to the testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you.
Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces. For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, 'Peace be within you.'
Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good."
Perhaps more than ever, it's time to intercede for God's purposes, pray for President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pray with all our heart for the peace of Jerusalem.