Israel Study Tour - The Forge (Pine Cove)

Mar 10-22, 2019

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Pilgrim through this barren land

Today was incredible. It’s crazy to think that it’s only our second day here. We have already seen so many sights and gained so much information. It’s awesome! We got to hike in parts of the wilderness where the Israelites wondered for 40yrs. We talked about how they would, over and over again, grumble and how God would over and over again provide.

We talked about Moses and his leadership. When God appears to him in the burning bush and asks him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses responds with questions because he’s afraid of rejection and because he feels insufficient. With that, we talked about how Moses was focusing on himself and what he could do rather than putting his trust in God. Yet God continued to provide for them, even as Moses and the Israelites were faithless towards Him. Moses and the Israelites were grumbling because they wanted only what God could give them rather than only wanting and craving God Himself. They wanted the creation more than the creator.

For me this was a powerful image. The Israelites wondered in the desert, for 40 years! Compared to me and the comfortable life that I live, they had a lot to complain about. The heat, the lack of vegetation, the wild animals and the list could go on. I however get to enjoy a comfy bed every night, I always have food to eat, I can have water whenever I want, and yet I still grumble and complain. I crave the things God gives me rather than just craving God himself. Wanting him more than anything this world has to offer. That is the cry of my heart! He truly is better than anything.

I got to listen to some music, as well, while walking through the desert. One of the songs that came on was called “Guide Me O thou Great Jehovah.” The song is all about the Israelites and their need to rely upon God alone. It’s a song that I had heard a lot before, but to listen to it while walking through the desert, where the Israelites walked, and to dwell on the things we were being taught was so sweet. It’s such a gift to be here and to experience who God is in a much deeper way. This song will now have much more meaning to me. I’ll get to hear it and sing it and recall walking through the very desert where the Israelites got to see God’s faithfulness so clearly, and remember that I serve that very God. The bread of life, the light of the world, the vine, the resurrection and the life. He truly is all we need. Here’s the first verse to “Guide Me O Though Great Jehovah:”

“Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
Pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but Thou art mighty;
Hold me with Thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore;
Bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore.”

Written by Kaitlyn Kaye

Masada

The summit of Masada sits 190 feet (59 m) above sea level and about 1,500 feet (470 m) above the level of the Dead Sea. The mountain itself is 1950 feet (610 m) long, 650 feet (200 m) wide, 4,250 feet (1330 m) in circumference, and encompasses 23 acres. The “Snake Path” climbs 900 feet (280 m) in elevation. From the west, the difference in height is 225 feet (70 m).

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