Thursday, August 18, 2011

How God encouraged me on Israel this trip

(Of the many things I could write, I will limit it to only a few for the sake of time!)

1. In the Wilderness of Paran, where the Israelites wandered (Num 12:16), I meditated on Deuteronomy 8 and God reminded me of the simple but profound phrase in verse 2 that God has led His people in the wilderness all the way.

2. At the Upper Room, where Christ had his last Passover meal with His disciples the night before the cross, we arrived early in the morning and there were no other tour groups there and we had a great deal of time to carefully and slowly walk through the steps of Jesus and how he so carefully moved and timed everything—John 12-18:1.

3. One of the favorites for everyone on the trip was the Cove of the Sower which is a cove on the north edge of the Sea of Galilee in between Capernaum and Tabgha. I ran down to the shore (or as close as I could get) and I had everyone else scatter on the hillside up above (below and above the modern road) and I read Mark 4—Jesus’ parable on the sower. What an incredible passage about the seed of the Word growing and bearing fruit! Additionally, the people loved to hear the natural acoustics formed from the cove and the surrounding hillside.

4. I’d never been to Hebron before and this was a first for me! We traveled to Hebron where David reigned for the first seven and a half years of his kingship. We also read about how Abraham bought this plot of land to bury Sarah and where he himself would also be buried (and Isaac and Rebecca as well as Jacob and Leah). Quite spectacular to see this tomb that Herod the Great constructed in the first century A.D. which is quite similar in structure and look to the Temple Mount.

5. In God's providence, we were in Jerusalem for Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av), when the Jewish people remember the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70AD (as well as the Solomonic Temple which was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar on this same day!). We were at the Western Wall till about 9:30pm listening to a plaza full of Jewish men chanting and lamenting the book of Lamentations amongst other things. Quite an amazing experience!

Here's a passage I read often when traveling through Israel:

Psalm 48:12-14
12 Walk about Zion and go around her; Count her towers;
13 Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces, That you may tell it to the next generation. 14 For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Geoff:

That was the trip of a lifetime! Thank you so much for showing us all those Biblical sites.

Being in the valley where David slew Goliath, where Elijah smacked down the prophets of Baal, where the Israelites wandered, and so many other places, was awe-inspiring. But especially to be in Galilee where Jesus walked and taught, and then to go to Jerusalem and be on the Mt Olives and the Upper Room, and the Garden Tomb where unforgettable highlights for me.

It was truly an epic pilgrimage. :)

Jeff D

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