Israel Study Tour with Wellspring Church, Cherokee Hills Baptist Church

Mar 2-13, 2020

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How can I glorify God through my situation?

"Don't forget to not forget, our salvation is sure and yet Satan tries to trip us up and wreck havoc with our lives but Christ's power is stronger."

Well folks we are almost at the end of our journey. We have one more full day before we head back to our own places and towns and have to get back to normal life. I hope though that our lives would not be normal when we go back and that the people we meet might see the light we have for Christ because of this experience.

It was another early morning at the hotel today so that we could get out and see the many places that we did. The first stop was the City of David. We toured around the City of David for a long time this morning and learned a lot of fascinating things. We discussed how even David, a man after God's own heart, sinned and was imperfect. So many times throughout the day even, Satan is enticing us with our weakness points. He knows what is going to be the easiest way to break us and he aims there. This is why we learned that we need to rely on friends that can come along side us and give incite into our lives when we might be doing something wrong. We got to see great sites from the City of David such as the place of the Last Supper, the Tomb of Zachariah, and the inner fortress of David. We also learned of a scribe mentioned in Jeremiah 36:8-10 that probably lived right there and gives proof to the City of David.

City of David

The city of Jerusalem was originally built around the Gihon Spring, on the southeastern hill to the south (left) of the Temple Mount, which is today crowned with the gold-domed Dome of the Rock. Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited since at least 3000 BC, but it was only in the time of Solomon that the city limits expanded beyond the southeastern spur, known today as the “City of David.”

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After spending all morning in the City of David, we got a really neat opportunity to go through Hezekiah's tunnel as well as the Pool of Siloam. Some of the group chose to go around the tunnel and the rest decided to split off and some went to the dry part of the tunnel and others to the water side of the tunnel. Because I was on the water side of the tunnel, I can testify to the fact that it was a really fun walk to take seeing as that it was carved out of bedrock with lots of twists and turns, low and tall spots, high water and low water spots as well. We all ended at the Pool of Siloam that is mentioned in John 9. We were able to talk about the passage in the Bible and what a great picture of salvation it gives.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

A 1750-foot (530m) tunnel carved during the reign of Hezekiah to bring water from one side of the city to the other, Hezekiah’s Tunnel together with the 6th c. tunnel of Euphalios in Greece are considered the greatest works of water engineering technology in the pre-Classical period. Had it followed a straight line, the length would have been 1070 ft (335m) or 40% shorter.

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Once finished there, we took a short drive to a park where we had a great lunch of chicken burritos. We have all been very grateful for Eli that he has not only taken us where we need to go but that we has been so great with the food for lunch and his kind heart and great smile go farther than his words ever could.

The park was right on the edge of what is known as the Southern Steps or the Southern Wall of Herod's palace and so this was the place that we visited next. Here is the place that Pentecost might have begun in Acts 2:1-12. This really showed just how large Herod the Great's palace really was. Something neat about the steps was that the steps are more than likely uneven on purpose for two reasons. One is for the purpose of concentrating, so being prepared for worship and sacrifice, and two is that it almost made the person bow to the house of God whenever they came up the steps. There was also the remains of an amazing arch that was thought to be one of the largest in the world before it came down.

Southern Steps

An enormous flight of steps leads to the Southern Wall from the south. They were excavated after 1967 by archaeologist Benjamin Mazar and are the northernmost extension of the Jerusalem pilgrim road leading from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount via the Double Gate and the Triple Gate, collectively called the Huldah Gates. These are the steps that Jesus of Nazareth[2][3] and other Jews of his era walked up to approach the Temple, especially on the great pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot. [2] The stairs that lead to the double gate are intact and "well-preserved."[4] The steps that lead to the triple gate were mostly destroyed.[4] / The risers are low, a mere 7 to 10 inches high, and each step is 12 to 35 inches deep, forcing the ascending pilgrims to walk with a stately, deliberate tread.[2] The pilgrims entered the temple precincts through the double and triple gates still visible in the Southern Wall.[5][2] Together, the double and triple gates are known as the Hulda Gates, after the prophetess Huldah.[2]

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After finishing the City of David tour, we hoped on the bus and made our way to a museum called Yad Vashem. This was something completely different our trip and was super moving because it is a museum dedicated and about the Jews of the Holocaust. Although there are not any pictures of the inside of the place as it wasn't allowed, I can assure you that it was powerful and hard to walk through and to read the stories and see the pieces that these people gave to the museum was heartbreaking. That was something that was not the usually for the schedule but was a really great opportunity for us all.
Once we finished there, we headed back to our hotel, relaxed for a bit and went down to dinner. Dan offered to take anyone that wanted to go down to the Jaffa gate tonight to shop and look around. A number of us did and it was very enjoyable. The sights and sounds and shops were very neat and it was just a nice time to relax after a lot of history and other things that we have taken in.

I am going to leave you with a question to ask yourself tonight rather than a prayer as usual. This was something that Pastor Steve said and should make you think. How can I glorify God through my situation? Whatever that may look like for you and whatever you might be going through, how can you bring this back to God.

In Christ Alone,
Keegan Mebert

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