Israel Study Tour

Mar 20-31, 2019

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Wandering in the Desert

Some 3500 years ago, when David was hiding in the wilderness strongholds, it was most likely in the same area where famous fortress Masada was located. We don’t know for sure if Masada was one of his hiding places, but we get a hint in Psalm 18:2 where David cries out to God in praise for His deliverance. He says, “The Lord is my rock, my Masada (fortress), and my deliverer…” The word for fortress in Hebrew is “Masada.” It is very possible David was looking up at the extraordinary stronghold of Masada when he penned this Psalm. He goes on to say, “…my God, my strength, in whom will I trust; my buckler and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”

Today we got to experience what it was like to stand at the base of such a mighty fortress. We also got to travel (some hike, and some ride) to the top of Masada and learn all about the amazing history of this impressive place. Our guide, Dan, skillfully wove historical narrative together with colorful description of life in the first century, as well as unveiling the brilliant madman Herod, who built not only this, but so many other astounding structures just prior to the time of Christ.

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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Standing at the top, looking out over the beautiful, and yet sad, Dead Sea, we got to view a beautiful stretch of desert as well. After hiking down the back side of Masada, we journeyed in the land to the historic city of Arad. We learned about the consequences of allowing pagan thoughts and ideas infiltrating our worship of the one true God. On the way back to the Dead Sea, we took a stroll in the desert ourselves, getting a taste of what walking the land truly was like.

We ended our day by bobbing in the Dead Sea covered in mud! It was a nice way to end a captivating day two in Israel!

Please continue to pray and follow our updates!

Josh & Jeff

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