Fearfully and wonderfully made
Our morning devotional came from Psalm 139 where God searches us and knows us and reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
We started the day at Herodium, one of Herod’s palaces/fortresses. Herod was an architectural genius and built this palace on a hill and then disguised the outside with soil and stones to look like a volcano. He had a theatron, a swimming pool, and a mausoleum. Herod built one of the first domes ever built in 30 BC. The water cistern was massive and provided more than enough water. Mike reminded us that King Herod would kill anyone to keep his power. But around three miles away a King named Jesus would be born and would sacrifice all for His people. What benefit is it to have everything, but lose your soul.
Herodium is 3 miles southeast of Bethlehem and 8 miles south of Jerusalem. Its summit is 2,460 feet above sea level.
Herod built or re-built eleven fortresses. This one he constructed on the location of his victory over Antigonus in 40 BC.
Next we went to Bethlehem which means house of bread and Jesus is the Bread of Life. Going into the Church of the Nativity and going down to the cave, used as a stable, where Jesus was born was very moving. In the spot where Mary gave birth is a 14 sided star which represents the 14 generations from David to Jesus. It also represents the 14 stations of the cross. David was also born in Bethlehem. On the opposite side of Jesus birthplace just a few steps away was the manger that Mary put Jesus in after his birth. Our guide told us that this is the oldest church in the land because the Samaritans destroyed all the churches in 529 AD. When they came to destroy this church there was a large icon on the outside of the three wise men that came from their country. Because of this they did not destroy this church.
Outside of the Israel museum was a huge built to scale model of the city of Jerusalem before it was destroyed in 70 A.D. Mike reminded us as we looked at the eastern and western walls of the model that our sins are removed as far as the east is from that west, which is infinity. In the museum there was an area for some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the other writings they found in the caves. As we entered the main museum our guide Yahouda told us that this is one of the best archaeological museums in the world. There was a piece of stone found where it’s inscribed about the anointing of King David from II Samuel 2:4. One of the most fascinating items was found 500 years before the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. It was a blessing of the priest from Numbers 6:24-26 written on an amulet of silver. Once again these items are just proving that the Bible is true!
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GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020
Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
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