We were told the sunrise at Mizpe Ramon was something we wouldn’t want to miss. We did miss it, but we still enjoyed this view- and each other. Those of us who were out early, split up to spend some quiet time with the Lord.
Yesterday Stan encouraged us to keep our eyes open for life in the desert. This morning as we traveled deeper into the desert, Vernon gave us our theme verse: Ezekiel 40:4: ‘And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I will show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel.”‘
Along the way, we pulled off the side of the road at a very random place. Here the Biblical map was pulled out, and Vernon helped us get oriented before he launched into a faith lesson.
He gave us a very powerful word picture from the Text about the tree whose shade we enjoyed. How deep is our root system? Will we stand when the rushing waters of life come? Do we offer shade to passers by?
Seeing the life-size replica of the Tabernacle in Timna was a highlight. Ben, the Tabernacle guide, is passionate about the work he is doing here. He shared many insights from his perspective. According to what we learned today, there are only three cubes mentioned in the Bible. I will leave this as a Treasure Hunt in the Scriptures for you. ; ) If you would ask any of the people on this trip, they would probably be able to tell you.
A hike in the hot sun followed a picnic lunch. Experiencing Israel leaves no time for afternoon naps in the sun. There are places to see, and things to be learned. What will we experience as our little community walks this dry desert in this 100+ degree temperature? Will we remember the lesson we learned from the tree this morning?
Someone who was enjoying the journey spotted this bug. Is this what our rabbi was referring to when he told us to look with our eyes? It created a bit of a stir and slowed us down as each person passed awareness back to the one following him. Verna, our facilitator, who brings up the end of the line, was patient with us, however, and we soon picked up the pace again. As I write this, I am inspired by what we can learn from this! Look at the color of the rocks around this bug compared to the bug itself!! The LORD created it with a natural protection, but it sure wasn’t very safe on the path of these trampling feet. Protection, not safety. Is this what it means to have eyes to see?
Along the path, we stopped to rest. As we rested, and drank water, we had Living Water from the Word brought to us. What does the word ‘blessing’ mean? We were awed to see how the promise to Abraham in Gen. 12: 1-3 has impacted us today! Will we embrace the reality of just how blessed we are by that promise?
When the spies went in to have a look at Canaan, they felt like grasshoppers in comparison to the people! These massive rocks gave meaning to the faith lesson that spoke to us about fearing the giants in our lives. Does our unbelief sometimes cause us to wander alone in the wilderness?
The hike was quite tiring for these Westerners who are not used to this climate, and we were all quite happy to be able to relax in the Dead Sea for a few hours before supper.