Today, and every day since we arrived in Israel, we have had beautifully unusual weather; while the sun is blaring, it has been accompanied by a breeze we are all very, very thankful for.
To begin our third day of the trip, we began our studies in Timna. Under “mushroom” rocks and surrounded by enormous mountains, Pastor Scott spoke about the Pharaoh and his abusive rule of the Israelites. In this desert environment, the Israelites mined for copper. It was brutal and the resources weren’t readily available, so they would travel far distances to attain these necessary materials, trek the way back, and then use the blaring heat to melt it into its final state. Pastor Scott used this information to tell us about the slave mentality from thousands of years ago and how it still has a grip on us today.
Pastor Scott then led us through an exercise, which at first we didn’t realize was an exercise or even a lesson. He led us from one stationary point to another. “Follow me, please.” Eventually, after Jason pointed out that we should gather in a single-file line, we realized that when the rabbi says “follow me, please,” the only way to fulfill this is by following the person in front of you, trusting they are following the person in front of them. To top this off, Pastor Scott picks up a stone. Learning from experience we follow and do the same. We reach a certain point where Scott holds out his arm, stone in fist. We imitate. We can all feel what is next. He drops his stone... and so do we. This obedience is so important to our relationship with Christ. If we cannot follow our pastors, teachers, parents, all the different respected leaders in our life, how will we follow the Lord?
After learning this important and shaping lesson, we hiked to the top of what Pastor Scott referred to as slave hill. There we discussed marriage and the Ten Commandments Moses receives at the top of Mount Sinai. We talked about how the seventh commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” refers to worldly marriage and also the marriage of the Lord to his people of Israel.
We passed Solomon’s Pillars and an example of a temple on the way to a real life model of a tabernacle in Timna Valley Park. We saw the Altar for sacrifice, the Laver for washing, the Altar of Incense, and the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. This real life, to scale model was the best way to finally envision what a tabernacle looks like and what it’s purpose is.
After a lunch filled with pita, we finished off in the same park, except now speaking on the topic of training versus trying. To train is very different than to try. Pastor Scott spoke on the difference between a son’s heart and an orphan’s heart. The only way to show someone who has an orphan’s heart the way to be obedient as a son is to show them God’s love through our words and actions. Love God, Love Others. This is the most important commandment.
We are ready for day four. We are ready for more conviction and truth and beauty in God’s creation. (Hopefully with continued beautiful weather).