Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wilderness of Zin

The next morning, the bus was ready for another day trip.
We left Jerusalem.

On the way out, we had our usual morning devotions and singing time.

Location where David met Abigail.  Also Abraham buried Sarah around this area in a cave.

A sheep fold.

The wilderness of Zin (Tzin or Tszeen also)

Terebinth tree - several mentions of this tree in the Bible.  Remember the story of Absolom whose hair got caught in the tree?

Moses and the Israelites would have traveled to this area on the way to the promised land.

Moses strikes the rock to provide water for the people.
God had told him to speak to the rock.

Zin was in a geographic region where any knowledgeable shepherd would know to strike a wisely placed blow that would produce water naturally as the rock is porous.  However, if Moses had spoken to the rock as instructed, God would have been recognized as the One who provided water for His people.  He didn't listen to God or trust Him.

We made it!
Our bus buddies

The bus was waiting for us at the top of the ridge.  

We left the Wilderness of Zin and drove to Arad, an ancient Canaanite ruin.  This city would have been in ruins 1,000 years before the Israelite spies scouted out the land!  That is amazing for me to think about!

Solomon had this "high place" built with its altar close to these ruins.

A living sacrifice!

The original is in the museum in Jerusalem (pictured below)

And here is an overview of the land that the 12 men of Israel spied.  Besides the highway, it probably doesn't look so much different than it did so many years ago.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Countryside and city

On our 9th day in Israel, we left our wonderful hotel in Jericho.    

 Here you can see walls dividing the West Bank from Israel.  We drove through many checkpoints during our stay.

We stopped at a hill overlooking the city of Gibeon.  You might know the story of the Gibeonites from Joshua 9.  Quite an amazing story and how God "listened to the voice of a man".  He rained huge hailstones on the enemy and the sun stood still.  The enemy worshiped the sun god but God is really in control of the sun!

This is also the area where Samson was from.  There is so much Biblical history in each place!
 Traditional site where Samuel anointed Saul and also the place where Samuel is said to be buried.
 There was a little birthday party going on and this little girl reminded me of my friend's granddaughter.

This lady was dancing and I asked if I could take her photo.  She was happy to oblige.  She indicated to me that her name was Rachel.   She told me (through her daughter who translated) that she would like a copy of the photo e-mailed to her so I have done that.

We drove on to the Valley of Elah where David killed Goliath of Gath.  Another work of God.  Our Rock and Refuge!

This is the brook from which David would have picked the stones.  5 because Goliath had 4 brothers.

 This is the road going down that hill.

You can see how forested it is.  Jim told us that back in Biblical times, much of the land was like this.  When the Turks took over, the people were taxed according to how many trees they had so people chopped down their trees.

We got back to Jerusalem in time to walk about the city.

Israel is FULL of cats.  They are EVERYWHERE!  This one looks like my grand-cat.

When we went to the Western Wall the other day, it was jammed pack.  This day it was later in the day so the crowds were down and we were able to approach the wall.

The women's side

The men's side

On the way back to our hotel.

This road is not the actual road that Jesus would have walked on.  This was built 1000 years after, during the Crusader period.  But it was still cool to walk along, especially on Good Friday.

It was a LONG walk back to the hotel.  Because it was Passover week, we "foreigners" ate in a different restaurant in the hotel than the Jewish people.  And the elevators were marked - there were elevators that stopped at every floor for the Jewish folk who would not be pushing buttons during this time and then there were elevators for those of us not of that faith so we could go up to 9th floor without stopping.

The night before was time change for Israel.  So this spring, we experienced 2 time changes!