The sunrise over the Dead Sea began the day for us. It is a brand new day, and the first day of the rest of our lives. For many of us, this day may hold a very special place in our hearts. We anticipated yet another Taste of Honey.
When you look at the green in this valley, can you guess what is close by?
If you look real close you can see 4 waterfalls in this picture. There is one that is barely visible in the grass. This stream is fed by the rain that falls in Jerusalem. It takes a long time for it to travel here. Sometimes when you spend time in the Word, and it seems you aren’t inspired, don’t be discouraged; in a week or month God may bring it forth as a beautiful spring of water. No time spent in the Text is ever wasted-you’ve given God something to bless!
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. Psalm 42:1
This Sunday morning worship service was so amazing! It seemed we were in Heaven itself, sitting beside the crystal clear river flowing from under the Throne of God. Joe just opened his heart and poured out to us the heart of God Himself.
Sitting beside and hearing this beautiful springs of living water, and listening to the pure, refreshing Words of Living Water was a Taste of Honey straight from the Rock!!!
It truly was living water for weary souls!! After being in the desert for several days, it was a blessing! We were given some rich encouragement, and had some intense sharing time, then we were given some time to go where we pleased, and reflect. Some found a cleft in the rocks or a cozy nook in the grasses around the spring, and spent time alone, but others chose to gather as a community at a lower falls, and enjoy each other in that water. The sounds of happiness floated up and down the valley; by and by everyone gathered where the rest of the community was at! What a beautiful picture of how life ought to be! A few people, who, greatly enjoying the Text and each other, carry a Joy that radiates from them as they meet and greet people, and rings out through their valleys to invite them to join. Do we place enough value on that picture?
Is this how God sees us when He looks down to see us washing and drinking from the Living Water of His Word? Here the rabbi is setting an example for us.
The sheep hear his voice and come to enjoy the springs of living water.
Whether you spent the time of reflection splashing in the water with the community,or in the cleft of the Rock, …… after another faith lesson, and more intense sharing,…..we felt refreshed and ready to enjoy the journey in the desert, and in spite of the heat, we anticipate meeting fellow sojourners along the way who are thirsting for a drink of that cool, refreshing JOY!!
In this state of mind, it was not hard to imagine the fervor with which the Essenes lived out their life in the desert here. The cave openings you see above are where the Dead Sea Scrolls are thought to have been found. The room below is thought to be the room where they copied the scrolls. What was it like? Were the writings of the scribe were scrutinized by one standing behind him to be sure he wrote everything exactly as the reader read it? Did another man stand behind the reader to be sure he reads every word correctly? Did they have erasers back then? If any mistakes were made, must it be folded, disposed of respectfully, and another one started? At any rate, much effort went into preserving the Text! Much intense study of the Word of God was done here also by young Jewish men. Was this where John the Baptist spent the days of his young years? In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Matthew 3:1-3
This ancient road in the Judean Wilderness is a popular way to go from Jerusalem to Jericho, and people still use it today. Can you guess what its name might be? Which one of the men was most zealous to obey the commandments? Most of us would say that answer is easy. But when you know the culture, you begin to understand why the priest and Levite were so quick to walk on the other side of the road. Who knows how many events recorded in the Bible happened here on this road?
The Bedouin farmers who live in the desert are eager to sell their wares and it looks like he snagged a few customers-several of the ladies were brave enough to allow him to fix the cloth onto their heads.
Today’s ventures turned up some beautiful opportunities of nature photography that several of us took time to appreciate. We were blessed by a most gorgeous sunset over the Mediterranean Sea here at Caesarea Maritina hotel.
After dinner Joe wanted to hear the hearts of his disciples, and we had a time of sharing. And then some of the younger disciples took off and followed the Rabbi downtown for the remainder of the evening. What a beautiful picture as these young disciples capered around him, running races, and pushing to the front to walk beside him. We sat around a table at the coffee shop, and chatted. Did the rabbi realize he was modeling how we can enjoy each other? To all those who are following our blog, we are hearing daily how your prayers are blessing us! Thank you for praying!