Thanks for all the comments people! I’m on a roll here so I’ll keep going. Yesterday began with us checking out of our Tiberias hotel and hopping on the bus to our first stop; Gideon’s Spring. Yes, the very same ordinary, scared jamaa who had an angel greet him with the words ‘The Lord is with you Mighty Warrior’. Gideon’s response, ‘eh, wrong number! I’m the furthest thing from mighty you could imagine!’ Okay, a bit of a paraphrase but just to set context to my takeout. Many of us have nice, safe, tame names for ourselves, and it was good spending some time in prayer, asking God to reveal His name for me (that’s a story for another day).
Then we spent time at En Gedi, the stark, mountaneous desert where David hid from King Saul for ten years. Most of the Psalms were written during this period. Must have been a conflicted time for him; an amazing calling by God yet in circumstances that did not seem to connect with that calling (anyone relate?) We each took time to write our own Psalm. Maybe one day soon, I’ll publish mine here.
Then it was off to the remarkable mountaintop fortress of Masada, the Jewish state’s number one national monument, where 950 Jewish men, women and children chose to commit mass suicide rather than be captured by the attacking Romans. Built by Herod the Great, accessed through a ski-lift, and sporting breathtaking scenic views, Masada is the site of an incredible human story reflecting a radical ruggedness that seems to exemplify the modern Israeli spirit.
This was a profoundly significant day for many including me. Much reflection filled the pages of my journal. Which for the sake of brevity I will not burden you with.
We then spent just over an hour caking ourselves with sulphurous mud and floating on – you guessed it – the Dead Sea. The weirdest experience ever that you have to experience to believe.
And then the culmination of our day… arriving right at sunset in Jerusalem. Also known biblically as the city of David. We paused for pictures at an amazing viewpoint of the old city with the sun reflecting off the famous Dome of the Rock, considered one of the holiest sites in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It was impossible not to get the sense that You this is a city like no other. Hard to believe we’re here.
Like Jeff would say… whaat a day, whaat a story! And you heard it right here… on this blog, where we keep it all fearless… all the time!