Israel Study Tour with Bridgeway Christian Church

May 12-23, 2019

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Our First Day

First day began at 6:30 wake up call in our hotel at Neve Ilan surrounded by the Judea mountains encompassed within the green trees. The first stop our group visited was the Biblical Garden or Kiriath-Jearim (which means Town of the woods) where we learned much about the Promise Land and what exactly it was that God promised to His chosen people. Matt starting us off in what would have been the foundation of a synagogue teaching us the Shema (Deut. 6:4) and how that rooted everything within the culture of Israel. The thing that was simple yet profound was the perspective that God loves us the chosen people with all His heart, soul, and might. Then looking on to how the Land has wheat, barley, pomegranate, figs, grapes, dates, and olives. Each of the produces being the fulfillment of God's promise.

Later we visited Azekah which was the place that oversaw the militaristic geography for where Israel and the Philistines had set up camps to battle in the story of David and Goliath. The intensity of the scene painted right before us allowed our group to envision the battle happening with how close each mountain was and yet leaving such a huge battle field for David and Goliath. As many of us know Davids faith and proclamation that the Battle belongs to the Lord set up a great question our group was left to ask God. Where is the power? Now after winning an amazing fight David flees to the caves of Adullam where he was persecuted by both Saul and the Philistines. As some members of our group crawled through these tight caves there is a isolated sense of security where David cries out for God for deliverance, never intended to stay there but eventually being sent back out to accomplish the Lords will.

Azekah

Azekah (Heb: עזקה, ʿazeqah) was a town in the Shephelah guarding the upper reaches of the Valley of Elah, about 26 km (16 mi) northwest of Hebron. The current tell (ruin) by that name has been identified with the biblical Azekah, dating back to the Canaanite period. According to Eusebius' Onomasticon, the name meant "white" in the Canaanite tongue. The tell is pear shaped with the tip pointing northward. Due to its location in the Elah Valley it functioned as one of the main Judahite border cities, sitting on the boundary between the lower and higher Shephelah.[1] Although listed in Joshua 15:35 as being a city in the plain, it is actually partly in the hill country, partly in the plain.

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This first day has been quite an awesome experience please keep praying for our encounter with the Lord as we continue seeking Him throughout this trip and the rest of our lives.


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