If you have ever gone on a vacation or trip you know the barrage of questions that accompany your return. The usual questions like, ‘how was it’ or ‘what was your favorite place’, maybe even a ‘tell me everything’. However eager I am to share the blessing that this trip has been, I’ve found myself at a loss of words to adequately describe the experience.
In being asked what my favorite place was I usually respond with, “well, I’ve got a few.” On the tour we managed to cram so much in a week and a half that there’s no way to pick just one thing. So here are my highlights and realizations that came from them.
My first favorite was Ein Gedi. Here we talked about David hiding from Saul in a cave. I liked this place because it was the first time I understood how incorrectly I’d imagined that story and the first place I saw scripture really come alive before my eyes.
My next favorite was Mt. Arbel. You will notice the stark difference in this picture and the previous one. One day we were in the desert and the next we were on a mountain top over looking rich fertile land.
The climb to the top was casual enough but once I reached the top and looked out I was in awe. I have never seen a view like this. As I turned to take in the full 360 view I saw sun rays pouring out between the clouds shining down on the land. It was beautiful. I’d seen this a few times in the states but they don’t compare.
Over the course of the next few days it rained in the evenings and the prevalence in which I saw the rays of sun on the land was unprecedented. We even had the opportunity to see a large rainbow and that’s when it hit me; This truly is God’s promised land, and these are the chosen people, and so are we. “A land flowing with milk and honey.”
The people of Israel are God’s chosen people. I realized how lucky we are to have a covenant keeping God. Just thinking of all the things the Hebrews have endured from the time of Moses to the Holocaust to present day. God has promised them that the land would be delivered into their hands. Today Israel is an independent democratic state. The only democracy in the middle east. God made a covenant with Abraham and to this day has kept that covenant. If God can do that for them over the course of centuries I can”t fathom what God can do for you and I.
The sun setting over the sea of Galilee was a beautiful way to start the leg of our tour discussing Christ’s ministry. This is the water, the waves, the path Jesus and his disciples took on more than one occasion. Where he called his first disciples, boys fishing on the sea in the early hours of the morning. THIS is where it began. The beginning of the fulfillment of God’s ultimate covenant to all believers.
Thank God that He would send His only begotten son, a man without sin to die for us and our sins. The Lord’s ultimate covenant, Good News, for all people. One of many covenants God has kept and will continue to keep. Since this trip I have begun to pray for Israel, it’s people, all those who visit, and the incredible individuals doing ministry there. I invite you to include them in your prayers as well.