It’s Tim again. Starting tomorrow a different team member will be writing the blog entry for each day. Brad was supposed to write today but he’s fast asleep. The trip has been awesome so far but has also been equally exhausting. So I’ll let him rest and update you on our activities.
Today we visited multiple, beautiful sites in Israel. We spent our day in the Shephelah, the lush, green Judean foothills. Our first stop was a recreation of a biblical town and garden. We got to see oil and wine presses, ceremonial baths and had a chance to orient our selves geographically. Then we moved right on to Gezer. Gezer is now the ruins of an ancient town that was once one of the three military strongholds of King Solomon. One of the highlights for me personally was to see up close and even sit atop a Solomonic Gate. A true feat of engineering at the time, the Solomonic Gates helped control entry into the city in times of piece and were formidable defenses in times of war.
Situated near the International Coastal Highway and guarding the primary route into the Israelite hill country, Gezer was one of the most strategic cities in the Canaanite and Israelite periods. Gezer is a prominent 33-acre site that overlooked the Aijalon Valley and the road leading through it to Jerusalem. The tell was identified as biblical Gezer in 1871 by C. Clermont-Ganneau who two years later found the first of many boundary stones inscribed with the city’s name.
Another of our many stops was the Caves of Adulum, the very caves were David and his band of outlaws hid from King Saul. Not only did we get to see the large cave openings but some of us also had the opportunity to go crawling through a part of the tight network of small caves that kept those who knew them safe and confused their pursuers. Its truly amazing that David survived 10-15 years on the run from King Saul but even more amazing that his faith grew through such a hard time of trouble. As someone who had his faith stretched to the extreme David speaks with authority when he writes Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” He knew that his ultimate refuge was not a system of caves nor any fortified city but the Lord his God. May we too learn to put our ultimate trust in God, our Rock and our Fortress.
Tel Azekah and Elah Valley
The Brook Elah is famous for the five stones it contributed to the young slinger, David. Some surmise that David chose five stones instead of the one needed in case he needed to face Goliath’s four brothers.
There are a lot of great pictures that the team has posted to Instagram so be sure to check out #rpisraelsept14.
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