I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand…. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good. Psalm 121:1-5, 122 was our Psalm of the day. It was so meaningful being here in Jerusalem, and hearing the reading of this Psalm. It brought reality to what the heart of God is for His people and land. The sunrise in all its splendor over the Mt of Olives was magnificent. It’s been a treat to see clouds again! Imagine that! Going to the City of David, and looking down the Kidron Valley,……and then back up the valley made Psalms 121 very real. Psalm 125:2-5 comes to mind, as well. It was part of yesterday’s faith lessons: As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore. For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong. Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts! But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the LORD will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel! Hezekiah’s Tunnel was as fascinating as ever. It caused a few of us some worries, but we gave God something to bless, and He did bless! We were blessed with all kinds of messages from God that spoke right into each one of our journeys! Each person would have a different testimony about what they learned while surrounded by nothing but rocks and water. O, and other people- even those who insisted on singing or jabbering loudly when one desired to meditate and get the ‘feeling’ of what it was like for David and and his men to capture this city. The places where the diggers had to correct their course, made for a good faith lesson. Joe reminded us again that God does not condemn us for making mistakes. He presented it in such a way that once again we could see repentance could actually be a joy! And then we simply need to correct our course. At the Pool of Siloam, we wonder why Jesus sent the blind man here to wash? He was blind, after all, and should he not have been accompanied? Was there no other water closer? Here are original steps of the Pool of Siloam.We continue on to the possible place of trial, where the games were found engraved on the floor. Here Joe began an interesting series on how the events of Jesus’ death reflect God’s seven feasts.We walk through the Western Wall Plaza on our way to the Temple Mount. It was touching to see these school girls pray at the wall in the heat of the day. it’s recess time, and they spend it praying!Several of us women were jerked from our comfort zones when upon entering the Temple Mount, we were told our arms were not covered enough. 25 shekels or $5 exchanged for a scrap of white cloth, and we were good to go! The Dome of the Rock is here. Although it wasn’t too impressive, it did cause us to realize the tension these Jews and Palestinians are living under. It is hard to explain what it felt like to be walking on the top of Mt Moriah and know that the Lord’s Presence reigned here, and desires for it to reign here, and now there is much abomination going on here. And the LORD said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. It is written in the Text twice in just exactly the same words. Does God change His mind or go back on His Word?
Note the closed Eastern Gates.
We sang in the St Anne’s Cathedral, and saw the original steps of the Pool of Bethesda. Concerning healing, what do you suppose the emblem of the snake on a pole originated from? Walking through the Old City is an interesting experience. Cars will go both ways on this narrow street, and sometimes both try to demand the right-of-way!We walked partway up the sewage tunnel, appearing above ground on the Cardo outside the Temple. We admire the architect and design of what used to be a magnificent building. The stones we see today are mostly by Herod’s design. One of the stones on the western wall has these words from Isaiah 66 carved into it in Hebrew: You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; We are amazed at the timing of our God’s plan as Joe puts the remaining few details together of how God timed the events of Jesus’ death with that of the feasts. There are many ‘mikvas’ here. Is this the way it was possible for 3,000 souls to be saved and baptized here when Peter began preaching? Those first converts were Jews.According to our guide, the stone in front of this door is very likely one that Jesus and the people around Him walked on. Joe’s neighbor from home, Roy and Anne Weaver and family, joined us for the day today. Is this a way of measuring how high the stones are?