Tour Journal For Israel Study Tour with Trinity Community Church June 9-19, 2013

Day 2 – Day in the Desert

Day 2 – Day in the Desert

Day two was the day of TRUST. Our first site was a trek through the wilderness of Zin, a seemingly barren desert area where Exodus came to life for our group. We learned about trust as our fearless leader Matt lead us the long way through a valley to the site of our first lesson, a beautiful Acacia tree. As we walked behind him we wondered why he didn’t take the more obvious direct route, but we followed. The shade of tree was like a beacon of hope under the hot desert sun, yet Matt stood standing in the sun. Some of us chose to leave him in favor of the comforting shade while others quietly questioned his sanity. We spoke about the Exodus and the importance of not thinking we know the path better than The Lord. “The long road is not always the wrong road.” We then rested comfortably under the shade of the lone standing Acacia tree where we learned about God leading his people through the wilderness, providing for them every step of the way. The main take away for the lesson was that for the rebellious person (who doesn’t trust God) the desert looks like a deadly wasteland. For the obedient person who is trusting in the Lord, the desert is a sweet place where God provides life.

Our second location was the breathtaking Ben Gurion National Park and specifically, Ein Avdat. The second we entered the park we were dwarfed by magnificent mountains on all sides. Desert terrain was again the backdrop for one loan standing tree. The Tarabenth tree was the site of our next lesson on trust. We read Psalm one and really explored what it meant to be a tree deeply rooted. This lone tree was clearly significantly older than any other tree in the wadi. This was because it was the only tree not washed away during the flash floods common to the area. It survives because it is strongly and deeply rooted, connected directly to its source of life and strength. Just like the tree those who trust in Jesus can weather the test, trial, and “flash floods” of life. As Matt so beautifully reminded us, “You may have deep roots, but if they draw on anything other than the law of the Lord you will wash away.” We can trust God to keep us anchored.

We then drove to Tel Arad, the remnant of an ancient Canaanite city. Here we explored a fortress in the center of the city that also served as a temple, built after the Israelites were delivered from Egypt and against the explicit instruction of God. Psalm 16 served as the basis for our lesson. As we leaned against the wall of the “Holy of Holies” where these delivered Israelites had allowed false idols to reside in the temple built for God, we read the words of David speaking about guarding ourselves against that very thing. Our disgust for these Israelites who had allowed false idols into their holy place quickly turned to self-reflection as we asked God to show us the false idols in our own hearts. We asked God to reveal the places where we weren’t trusting Him completely.

A beautiful day and a beautiful lesson in trusting our Lord and Savior who is so completely worthy.

Anna Hawkins

P.S. The evening of day one, after the blog was written, we swam in the Dead Sea! Tickingly (made up word of the day) fun floating experience! –Olivia Krohn

Today's Photos

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