Today was my first full day in Israel.
Key Takeaway: In life (and trips of a lifetime), it is helpful to have a guide.
Why: The picture to the right shows the location of the battle of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). To visit it, the bus stopped on the side of a busy highway. There were no markers of this great battlefield. Without our guide, we would have driven right by.
Interesting Fact: David picked up five stones to use in his battle with Goliath but used just one to deal his fatal blow. According to Rabbi Jason Sobel (Gifford, 2017), five is related to the divine breath of God that releases HIs creative power and potential.
Thankful For: Tonight I am thankful for all of the guides in my life (e.g., Christ, spouse, friends) that helped me see evidence of God's power and potential.
1. We started our day by overlooking the desert that the Israel people wandered in for forty years. It is massive. I could see how they could get lost for forty years. Some people in our group reflected: a) wandering in the desert for 40 years was God's version of a trust exercise because His chosen people failed to trust him earlier and b) if you look closely to what is a barren desert there are small rivers and patches of vegetation indicating God does provide for our needs but often we don't see what he provides.
2. We then traveled to the site of the battle of David and Goliath. It is at this point we discovered we have a witty and sarcastic Jewish man as a tour guide. I am intrigued by his story as much as the stories of the Old Testament we are visiting today.
3. We then traveled to what was, in 2013, recently identified as the ruins of a small city built by David. Interestingly, it overlooks his great battle and we imagined him as an older man talking to the younger generations about this great giant he fought when he was younger.
4. Our last stop was to visit the city built by Herod the Great, Caesarea. Words or pictures cannot capture the city built by a man with such vision and paranoia.