Israel Study Tour

Jun 1-12, 2019

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Thirsty for Living Water!

We trekked about 9 more miles today in the desert of Israel to Ein Gedi.  The brutal heat slapped us right in the face! THE DESERT IS HOT! Until you experience what the wilderness is really like you can’t grasp what the Israelites experienced. Where we started our climb is where David hides while running for his life from King Saul. Can you even imagine?! This is where David is crying out in Psalms 63:

“Oh God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you, my souls thirsts for you, my flesh faints for you as in a dry and weary land where there is no water!”

We were challenged to go to the Living Water. The reoccurring theme is that LIFE IS A DESERT! It’s why we HAVE TO stay connected to the one who brings living water.  

Isaiah 35 says, “Only God can provide waters to break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert...”. So how do you drink?! From cisterns which will eventually let you down or from living water? The blessing is Jesus took our “cistern water” from us so we never have to thirst again! Thank You Jesus that you are the RESTORATION of ALL things.

Ein Gedi

En Gedi is the largest oasis along the western shore of the Dead Sea. The springs here have allowed nearly continuous inhabitation of the site since the Chalcolithic period. The area was allotted to the tribe of Judah, and was famous in the time of Solomon (Josh 15:62). Today the Israeli kibbutz of En Gedi sits along the southern bank of the Nahal Arugot.

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Next we headed to Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. This was UNREAL! To hear of the people who lived here and to see the passion, detail and purification process to preserve the Word of God was compelling and convicting in such a good way! Pastor Brian taught us the process the Scribes went through in preserving the text. We learned how the Essenes copied the scriptures and how we can trust the process that the scripture is REAL and TRUSTWORTHY! Interesting fact: it could take the scribes up to one year to transcribe Genesis alone! It’s amazing to think we have the scribes to thank for the word of God today! They used there gifting just as we were challenged to use our gifting! We want to leave a legacy that will impact God’s kingdom for years to come. It may be difficult, but it will be worth it!

Qumran

10 miles south of Jericho, Qumran was on a “dead-end street” and provided a perfect location for the isolationist sect of the Essenes to live.

The site was excavated by Catholic priest Roland deVaux from 1953-56. More recent excavations of the site have taken place under the direction of Hanan Eshel.

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Late afternoon we went to the Lower Jordan (close to where it meets the Dead Sea). In Joshua 1, God commissions him to claim the territory that was promised to Moses. It is here where Joshua’s mighty men carry the Ark of the Covenant through the Jordan river at FLOOD STAGE! Those of us who have gone through floods know that it’s not an easy task to carry anything in rushing waters let alone the Ark of the Covenant! But God moved those waters and in Joshua Chapter 4 God tells them to make a memorial so the next generation would know Him! Psalms 78 charges us to “tell the coming generation!” God cares that His story is told and passed down. We have a responsibility!

The day ended a little unexpectedly as our bus AC broke down. So while waiting for another bus in Jericho we all have ICE CREAM and watched a few of our family tribe members ride a camel in the parking lot while standing in 108 degree temperature! We did finally get another bus and have made it to The Galilee! We’ll be here the next four days and are excited to see what awaits! Hard to believe it’s just been 3 days since we have been here. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED! We are thirsty for LIVING WATER!  

Thanks for following our journey!

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