Tour Journal For Israel Study Tour with North Pointe March 29-April 8, 2012

Day 8 – Called for a Purpose

Day 8 – Called for a Purpose

As always, we ate breakfast and headed out for devotions. Today, we did devotions in the Old City of David. We looked at the passage in Luke 20 where Jesus is asked about paying taxes to Caesar. He responds by pointing out whose face is on the coin and tells them to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but give to God what is God’s. We were reminded again of bearing God’s image. Essentially, Christ is saying that the coin has Caesar’s image on it, so it should be given to him. However, we are made in the image of God, so our lives, all of who we are, should be offered up to God.

Afterwards, we watched a short, 3-dimensional video about the history of Hezekiah’s Tunnel and proceeded to walk through. The tunnel was dark, narrow, and had water which rose to our knees, but we all made it through! We then looked at the tunnel as an analogy of our Christian life. Hezekiah, as king, saw the impending threat and told his men to build a tunnel, so they did. While digging, they couldn’t always see what direction they were going, and some died along the way. Not all of them had the privilege and joy of seeing the tunnel to completion, seeing the day the water rushed through, but they served willingly just the same. Our life is similar. Our king sees the threat of judgment ahead and puts us to work. We don’t always know where He is leading, and some will die along the way. We won’t all see the fruit of our work, but in the end, we will all taste of the living water that flows through.

When we were out of the tunnels, we walked to the Royal Quarters and talked about Solomon’s divided heart. Solomon spent 7 years building God’s temple and 13 years building his palace; this serves to foreshadow Solomon’s downfall later. We fast forward to the rebuilding of the temple after the exile. Haggai comes and warns the people; they are spending more time on their own “palaces” than they are on the House of God. As we move ahead, once again, to Luke 12, we see Haggai’s words breaking through Jesus’s words as we are warned to not store up for ourselves treasure on earth or worry about the trappings of day to day life; where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

At this point, we walked to the Temple Mount. We started in what would have been the courtyard and walked through the book of John, looking at his temple theology. Jesus, in the Gospel of John, is changing the perspective; he is saying, “I am the temple; forgiveness comes through me.” We moved on from there to the temple steps to continue the discussion, transitioning to the book of Acts where we now become the Temple of God.

We walked further to the Western Wall. Jews used to come here once a year. They would get as close as they could get to the Temple Mount (the western retaining wall was as close as they could get), and they would mourn the losses when the temple was destroyed and pray that the city and temple would be restored. It continues to this day, and the activity has earned it the name “Wailing Wall.” We had to be modestly dressed, and men had to have their heads covered. Women and men were then sent to separate parts of the wall with a dividing wall between the two. Many people leave notes in the cracks of the wall; others cry, pray, or sing.

From here, we took the bus and headed for Bethlehem. Ronnie (our tour guide) couldn’t come with us because those who have served in the Israeli army and have no permit are not allowed to cross into Palestinian territory. We stopped at the Herodian. This was Herod’s palace where he was buried. We talked about genealogies and were reminded that we are part of God’s kingdom. We know we are called for a purpose, and whether or not we get to see the fruit, living water will flow.

When we reached Bethlehem, we had lunch and shopped at Johnny’s Souvenir Shop. Then we drove to the Church of the Nativity to see the cave where Jesus was born. After loading the bus, we made a quick stop at Jerusalem University College, where Todd studied for about a month. We ran into Rachel Carlson, a former NPC student and current JUC student. We walked through the Old City until we reached our hotel. Todd and Jim had the incredible opportunity to eat the Passover meal at Ronnie’s house; the rest of us ate dinner at the hotel and went to bed. Tomorrow we plan to visit the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, and do some shopping in the city before our long journey home.

Audio from this day
Herodian – Todd Schenck
Interview – Cindy Foster
Interview – Elise Culver
Interview – Tim Sommers
Temple Mount – part 1 – Todd Schenck
Temple Mount – part 2 – Todd Schenck

Today's Photos

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