Conquering Fears – Israel Day 6

Conquering fears at Masada, Dead Sea, Bedoin Village and Camels, David & Goliath

Masada was more than a stronghold, it was the site of a last stand against the Romans, and an almost total suicide to prevent the Romans from declaring a murderous victory and taking any survivors as slaves. It was originally built as a magnificent palace for Herod the Great, and was possibly the stronghold for David referred to in the Bible.  It was like a box on top of the mountain, and had some marvelous design features like water capture, hot and cool bathing, beautiful tiled designs, storage rooms, the mosaics and the Byzantine Church built at the top.

About half our group took the tram to the top of Masada, and the other half climbed the legendary Snake Trail.  Those of us who took the tram had time to view a small museum at the bottom, including a brief video overview.

Hear the detailed story of the Jewish zealots as narrated by the ancient historian Josephus about one of the most decisive battles ever for the Jewish people and Israel.  At this great fortress we will visit the bath house, the

We all  descending to the bus by walking along the siege ramp built by the Romans that still remains, then rode the bus to a Bedouin camp. There we enjoyed a special visit with Middle Eastern hospitality and experienced a camel ride, and had my favorite meal on the trip. Stuffed grape leaves, lamb meatballs, artichokes and peppers on couscous plus salads and desserts.

Next a bus ride via the Negev Desert to the Elah Valley, site of the famous battle between David and Goliath, where a couple of the guys reenacted part of the story while Cliff read and expounded on a gripping devotional of what took place here and why. My heart was struck with David’s bold confidence in God.

We continued the ride – our ascent to Jerusalem, 2,400 feet above sea level, via Beit Shemes and Emmaus. We got our first glimpse of the city from the Haas Promenade, the area where most armies surveyed the city before preparing to invade it. Another huge buffet dinner (which explains why I only lost 1#) and overnight in Jerusalem.

I did it! Miserably uncomfortable, but aren’t most of life’s challenges? In Cozumel I conquered fear of water and snorkeled, got a fish pin as remembrance. This time a camel magnet. I note each time I had a friend-in-faith help me with the fear-conquering. Last time Roxanne and Alfonzo, this time Cliff Graham and one of our Hebrew guides, Marla, and of course both times it took prayer and surrender.  We learned a lot about trusting God, prayer and surrender on this trip, and I’m still learning as i review and absorb it all.  Appreciate you all being patient with me – God’s obviously far from finished working on me!
Thanks Cliff and for making my Israel dream come true.
Model of Masada on top of the mountain. Makes me think of God’s view of our world that seems so big and complicated.

The two views above of the Masada model  brought great perspective to the teachings Marla gave us. The one on the left is some of the mountain structure that looked to me like a person on a bicycle and reminded me how those of the preserved past were creating part of my future.  Herod’s ego drove him to build the stronghold, and ironically some of the very features that made it great were also its downfall. I cannot imagine the remnant knowing the Romans would roll up the road they built around Masada the next morning with full intent to cruelly overtake them. So many fears, challenges, and threats, yet God’s people remain.   The museum was another reminder of ancient words and ancient times, ancient rescues, and ancient promises – still affecting our lives today. May my fears seem like silly concerns to the generations that follow me, but as they face their own may they do so with a friend-in-faith, and with prayer and surrender.

One Comment on “Conquering Fears – Israel Day 6

  1. Pingback: Today’s thought “When approaching the battle against your enemies today” (May 03) – Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven

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