Hello from The Dead Sea! Our first full day was busy to say the least. We are all well…some a bit bruised but not beaten! We have made our way through the Coastal plains and the Shephelah valley all the way to the south, in the Negev. One of my most memorable and challenging moments was hearing Rabbi Bell teach about the “standing stones” or pillars in Gezer put there by the Canaanites. Instead of building a place to worship God, they left the “standing stones” and a pagan altar on a hill that were huge, probably 12 feet tall 5 in all. Instead of being a City on a hill that was completely obedient and sold out to God, they left this very visible reminder that they compromised their values. Brad asked the group what in our lives have we compromised instead of being the light on the hill? This could be anything…our job, our home, our car or family and friends. I’m spending time reflecting on this for me. What are those objects/times when I need to lean in and be that obedient Christ-follower instead of hanging on to what I think I need? I’ll be noodling on this for a while.
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 tel 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.