In a Dry and Thirsty Land…
For our final day down at the Dead Sea, we learned more about how, although is it beautiful on the outside, the Dead Sea is indeed dead on the inside. There is nothing that can live in its waters.
In contrast, we visited what has to be one the highlights in any trip to Israel. The Springs of Ein Gedi are literally a life-giving oasis in the middle of a dry and thirsty land. This amazing place has been well-known for over 5,000 years—that’s nearly 1,500 years before David visited there. Running up a lush and fruitful Wadi, this oasis is surrounded by caves and is flowing with water from top to bottom. We sat under an acacia tree and by a waterfall and learned about how God protected and cared for David when he fled from Saul and hid, with 600 of his closest friends, while King Saul was otherwise occupied. Giving up the opportunity to kill his enemy when he had the chance demonstrates the kind of trust David had for His God…and the kind of trust we can aim for as well.
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.
We then journey up to Qumran, where arguably one of the top archaeological discoveries was made in 1947. The Dead Sea scrolls have served to confirm that God has preserved His word to us—and that we can trust the Bible we possess. We can, in fact, stake our eternity on the fact that it’s true.
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.
We followed that up with a visit to the Lower Jordan river and saw the place Joshua crossed the Jordan with the Children of Israel as they entered the Promised Land. Oh, and that also happens to be the place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus as well. Pretty amazing!
Our day ended with a drive up to the northern end of Israel, where we will be staying at a beautiful kibbutz on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
God is so good! And it becomes so unmistakably clear when you can see the land He calls the “apple of His eye.”
Please continue to pray and follow our updates!
Josh & Jeff
Featured Upcoming Tour
GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020
Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
View Itinerary & Register