Israel In Depth - Legacy Path Experience

Dec 1-12, 2019

Subscription options are no longer available for this tour.

Living in the Desert

Today was another incredible day. We went to Masada, Kfar Hanokdim, Tel Arad, a roadside wadi and swam in the Salt Sea. 

Masada is the most popular National Park in Israel. We learned about how Masada was a stronghold. It was turned into a center for world trading by Herod the Great. Goods such as salt, bitumen, and perfume were stored and traded through here.It was a prime location for trade because it connects 3 continents, Asia, Europe & Africa. Those factors made it a great location, defendable, flat, good vision for attacks and economic commerce. Location, location, location! 

 
When the temple was destroyed in 70AD by Titus, the Jews were scattered, and the zealots sought refuge at Masada. In 73AD, the Romans built a siege ramp to the top, after many failed attempts to overtake this stronghold. When the zealots knew they would be defeated, they drew lots and massacred their women, children and then each other; thinking they were the last Jewish people alive. Masada is the Jewish version of the Alamo of Texas, the last place of freedom. 

After much time and over 1000 steps at Masada, it was time for a little R & R. Next stop Kfar Hanokdim (aka Valley of the Shepherds), a Bedouin village where we were treated to camel rides. For most of us this was a new experience. So much fun! Imagine riding a camel from town to town in the desert.  Q: When you arrive, what would you need? A: Food, water & rest - hospitality.  Bedouin hospitality includes those things, plus a 3 day stay, no questions asked and protection. We experienced some Bedouin hospitality in the form of tea and bread. Americans aren’t traditionally hospitable. They come home from work, drive into their garages, close the door and go inside. Pastor Brian reminded us that we need to be hospitable. Q: How do we do that? A: know them, befriend them, and invite them to your table and break bread with them. 

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).

Learn More

At Tel Arad, we saw a representation of the Temple consisting of the People’s Court, Priestly Court & the Holy of Holies. There Pastor Brian taught us from Genesis 15 when God "cut" covenant with Abraham and a spiritual seed was promised. The part that was the most impactful was that ONLY GOD passed through the sacrificial animals. Normally both parties in a covenant would pass through the sacrifice to seal the deal, but Abraham did NOT pass through the sacrifice. Why? Because he couldn't. Abraham could not do anything to fulfill the covenant just like we cannot do anything to earn or deserve salvation. Only Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior could pass through as the sacrifice to "cut" covenant. Jesus passed through for me and you. In the temple, no one could go into the holy of holies unless you were a priest. And because we are not priests, we could not go in, BUT Jesus, by His sacrifice on the cross,  gave us access to the holy of holies. This really made me realize that I am so undeserving of what God has done for me. He saved me by His blood, through his mercy and grace. I could do nothing to seal the covenant. Only His blood can do that. Why me Lord, why me? Why Lord did you save me, a stinky sheep that was lost and alone. I'm so grateful to Him for saving me and loving me. I'm so grateful to Him for my family, our church and a thriving business. God never changes and always keeps His word and His promises. I'm so thankful Jesus was the sealer of God's covenant that saved me and let me be an heir to His kingdom.

Tel Arad

Like many cities in the Holy Land, Arad was repeatedly settled because of its strategic geographical location. Though situated in an area with little rainfall, Arad was inhabited frequently in ancient times because of its position along the routes coming from the east and southeast.

Learn More

We stopped at a roadside view of a wadi and learned that the only sand in the desert is in the bottom of a wadi. Pastor Brian read from Psalm 23.  An acacia tree was near and we reflected on God being our Shade in the desert of life. 

Back at our hotel, we all took a dip in the Salt Sea, aka the Dead Sea. Buoyancy is great in salt water! The water was cold so most of us didn’t stay in long, but it was a great end to an exciting day. 

Featured Upcoming Tour

GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan Study Tour
SEP 3-15, 2022

Experience Israel and Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.

View Itinerary & Register

Comments