By Michele Lobdell
Awoke to a beautiful desert morning near the Dead Sea; walked to breakfast and enjoyed the flowers and the fellowship. After packing, we left Kalia Kibbutz, headed for Masada; the hikers contemplating the task ahead with the “Rocky” theme running through their heads.
We arrived at Masada, packed up the hikers with water, and we set out. It was interesting how everyone in the group climbed at their own pace and it didn’t matter how quickly we got to the top; each at his own pace and in his own way; as long as we did not quit and we all arrived at our destination. What a great metaphor for our Christian walk. At the summit, our “super amazing, all time most excellent” guide, Herzl, gave us a tour and the history of the site. It is a monument to the Jewish spirit and independence; slavery or death, and they chose death as free people over a life in chains; just as we as Christians choose death to ourselves and a life in Christ that frees us from slavery to sin. What an amazing place to bring the Jewish story of God’s redeeming love full circle.
After Masada it was off to En Gedi, to swim in the pools of fresh spring water coming from the desert and the site where King David hid when Saul wanted to kill him. This was another place where God speaks to us about His love; a place where water springs from the desert, as His love springs forth from us when we accept Jesus, the source of Living Water. The highlight of that site was seeing Betsy, our spunky 86 year old heroine and lover of Israel, wade into the pools and partake of the refreshing. All of the younger women pray to be Betsy at her age!
We left En Gedi, made a quick stop to see Charlie the Camel, (Bethany could not resist a quick “ride” on a “Ship of the Desert”), and get gas. Then it was “On the Road to Jerusalem”. This was a solemn time for us as we all anticipated entering the Holy City and the place where the battle rages more fiercely than anywhere else on earth. We prayed for the team, sang songs of praise and entered with the assurance that the war is already won.
We found a spot away from the tourists with a great view of the Mt. of Olives and the Temple Mount and partook of the Lord’s Supper. Rabbi Mike led a brief service while the team reflected on the amazing thing that God has done for us. Standing where the Lord Jesus could have actually stood was an experience that only those who have been here can fully understand. Rabbi Mike is a wealth of information about the history of the land, and we all finished our communion with a new perspective of the battles, both physical and spiritual, that continue to rage until Yeshua HaMashiach comes again as the King of Glory.
On to dinner in the mall! The highlight of dinner was watching Herzl keep Sonya from enjoying her ice cream on the bus; we all waited patiently while our “most excellent” guide sternly kept her out until it was all done. Of course, he hadn’t seen the other three people who had brought their ice cream on board before he noticed. Poor Sonya!
We checked into our hotel, Jerusalem Hills, owned by Cheim and Rutie Singerman, around 8 pm. All of us were tired and the accommodations are wonderful. The Singerman’s are kind, gentle Messianic believers with a wonderful heart for service and we know we will enjoy our 5 days with them. Rutie is due to deliver their seventh child any day; they are indeed fruitful and multiplying in the land!
interestingly, the night was not over after bedtime; our Arab neighbors decided to celebrate wins in the elections held today at 3:30 in the morning with fireworks and automatic weapons. It was a sobering reminder that we are indeed in a dangerous place. Please keep us in your prayers. Tomorrow, the Kinneset and olive picking with Danny!
By Michael Weiner
We approach the holy city, Jerusalem, the city of our God, and come to a stop on Mt. Scopus where we can view the old city and the Kidron Valley. This is our destiny to share in the Land, to touch the heart of God for this place as we share the table of The Lord.
The place where we stand was under Jordanian control for 19 years (1948-1967). During that time, no Jew could enter any part of East Jerusalem nor any part of the old city, including the Western Wall area. In the Six Day War, the area was liberated.
Mt. Scopus is part of the ridge line that includes the Mount of Olives. This is where Yeshua will return to the earth to establish his millennial reign. Many Jewish people have sacrificed their lives in four wars and much in between for our right as Jewish and non-Jewish believers to simply stand in this place. For this, we give thanks.
Today, the United States government, along with most of the rest of the world, wants Israel to give back this land ( return to the pre-1967 armistice lines). Our prayer is that Jerusalem will never be a divided city, but always in Jewish hands and open to all people of all faiths.