Highs and Lows

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We began our day by heading off to Masada (Hebrew for “fortress”).  This is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications  in the South District of Israel on top of an isolated rock plateau  on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea.  Masada became famous after the First Jewish-Roman War(also known as the Great Jewish Revolt) when a siege of the fortress by troops of the Roman Empire led to a mass suicide of the site’s Jewish Sicarii fugitives when defeat became imminent.

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The fortress was later taken control of by Herod the Great and a palace was built on the North End of the cliffs.  To say this place a had a view would be an understatement.  From the edge of the height of land there was a 1500 foot drop straight down.  The view of the Dead Sea from above was breathtaking.

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Onward we went to Ein Gedi, which is Hebrew for Spring of the Wild Goats.  As if on cue a wild goat, or Ibex, walked along the grassy area and stood for us to take pictures.

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This is the location that is believed to be where David and his 300 men ran to and hid from King Saul when he was pursuing them.  There are many waterfalls above that feed into this desert oasis.  It is in the cave pictured here that David is believed to have taken shelter.  “And David went up from thence, and dwelt in the strongholds of Ein Gedi” (Samuel 1 24:1).

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We gathered and read  shared a devotion together and then sang, “Blessed Be Your Name”.  This song put an exclamation mark on our time at Ein Gedi as we committed to always seek shelter in the Lord when troubles come – and we know that they will.

From Ein Gedi we continued North to Qumran.  This is the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1968 by a Bedouin shepherd.  The amazing thing about this find is that from all the books in the Old Testament except for Esther.  The book of Isaiah was the only one found in it’s entirety.  These scrolls date back to 200 BC.  This is over 1000 years before the earliest scrolls that had been found previously.  When they compared the two scrolls for the book of Isaiah they found the two to have 99.9% accuracy.  The Word of God is infallible!

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After leaving Qumran we headed down to the lowest place on Earth.  The Dead Sea is located 1,378 feet below sea level.  The salt levels in the sea are 9 times more than that of the ocean.  With all that salt it makes it very easy for things to float.  So that is what we did!  Pictures will come tomorrow due to technical errors but take my word for it.  This was an incredible experience!  I found myself laughing for quite a time as my legs shot up to the surface of the water.  It was like I was sitting in an inflatable pool chair.  Cindy and I raced across a portion of the sea as we could stand upright in the deep water and literally “run” through the thick water.

After getting rinsed off – we were really salty! – we headed home.  We stopped quickly for a quick drink at the same site that we stopped yesterday.  The guy that had the camel yesterday – he had 2 today!  I told you he made enough to buy another camel!  We all got a good laugh at of that one.

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Tomorrow we head to the Jewish Sector of the Old City in Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane (where I will lead a devotional – so excited!) and the Wailing Wall and Temple Mount.  If you have any prayer requests please send them to me by 10 PM tonight EST and I will write them out and place them in cracks in the wall while praying for each one.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by mom on July 22, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    what an awesome experience! I want so much to be there. Am praying along with all of you.
    Love mom

    Reply

  2. Posted by Louise Germain on July 21, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Please pray for my fathers upcoming bypass surgery and for the Wedoon family.

    Reply

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