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The view from Masada

What a fascinating day today as we wandered around in the dessert. Seeing camels, sheep, shepherds, and other various animals were just the start.

Highlights

This morning we started at Ein Gedi (En-Gedi). This is where David hid when we was running from King Saul (more on that below). We then went to Masada. Masada brought a mixed bag of emotions. Recall, this is the fortress built by Herod during the time of Christ in the dessert. The engineering and ingenuity it took to build are absolutely incredible. The fact that over 960 Jewish men, women, and children died there was heartbreaking to consider.

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The cool dessert stream flowing at Ein Gedi

We also traveled today to tour Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. This was a fascinating trip as we considered the great work they did on copying and protecting the scrolls of the Old Testament. Finally, our day ended at a resort on the Dead Sea. We shopped and swam in the Dead Sea, which was fantastic! I have always wanted to do that…so check that off the bucket list. The salt felt weird, especially after getting out.

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Right before we went floating in the Dead Sea

For Your Consideration

Not as heavy today. :)  Just three small things…

First, I’ll just mention in passing the weightiness of thinking through the people at Masada as they considered their end. I won’t go there now though. Just trust me, it made me reflect quite a bit.

Second, at Ein Gedi I was impressed all over again with the young future King David. Ein Geti is a beautiful oasis around a stream with refreshing water falls in the midst of the dessert. As David hid in the caves, crevasses, and cliffs of this location, he had an opportunity to kill King Saul (1 Samuel 23 & 24). However, he chose to only cut off the corner of Saul’s robe in an act of humility and respect for God’s anointed king. He had every opportunity to kill his enemy, to take revenge, to take what was rightfully his, to make his life easier, and to hurry God’s plan along.

But none of those tings are what motivated him. Instead, he humbly let Saul pass, even to David’s own potential destruction. I am challenged to consider my own heart. Am I that patient on God’s plan? Am I that humble? Do I prefer others above myself? Do I choose worship and peace over my own way? I’m grateful for David’s example.

Third, the Dead Sea has no fish and is full of salts and minerals – but that’s not the whole story. You may be wondering, “What’s the big deal?” Well, Ezekiel prophesied that one day the Dead Sea will be filled with fresh water from a new temple in Jerusalem. He prophesied that one day fisherman would spread their nets along its shores (Ezekiel 47:1-12). Both as a fisherman and much more importantly as a Christian, I look forward to that day. That future day when people fish at the Dead Sea will be after Jesus Christ rules and reigns on Earth. That will be a glorious day! Today, the Dead Sea looks like none other on Earth – no boats, no marinas, no fisherman, no fish jumping, no minnows flashing, nothing. The lowest place on Earth at 1,300 feel below sea level will one day be one of the places that clearly demonstrate Jesus Christ lives, rules, and reigns on Earth. Again, what a great day that will be!

Today’s thought… Jesus is coming back soon and until then I want to humbly wait as I eagerly wait the day He ultimately makes all things new.

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Cave 4 at Qumran

From this blog series:
Last post: Israel Day 5 – The Garden & the Wailing Wall
Next post: Israel Day 7 – Golgotha & the Garden Tomb

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