Tour Journal For Israel Study Tour with Dr. Tim Keiper June 15-26, 2013

Day 1 – Far Across The Globe

Day 1 – Far Across The Globe

It’s amazing how far across the globe fifteen hours on a plane will get you.
Equally amazing is how little sleep your body needs to hike very large hills and still return to your hotel with all limbs attached and your mental abilities more or less functioning at acceptable levels.
And so, we have begun our adventures in Israel.

Breakfast at 6:30, on the bus at 7am, most group members chipper (food and coffee does wonderful things for people) and headed to some Old Testament sites.

Gezer…remember, that one hill? The books of Joshua, Judges, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles and 1 Kings all mention it? Come on, it was one of Solomon’s cities. He fortified it. Still no? Yeah, me neither. Reason #1 this trip is so valuable: I see the ruins, touch the dirt, hear the stories again and realize that this place is real. I won’t scan over the name when reading the scriptures anymore. There is history here.

One very important concept we touch on here is that of Shephalah. Shephalah is the area located between the Judean hills (where the Israelites largely resided) and the Coastal plain (where the Philistines were located.) The two cultures met in Shephalah. In fact, one of the most important trade routes of the day cut through Shephalah making it multicultural, multilingual…multi-everything. Influences, everywhere. And notice…God didn’t instruct His people to hole up in the hills inside a gigantic holy bubble. God sent his people to live in the Shephalah, to be lights in Shephalah, and either influence or be influenced by the people around them.

We continued to discuss this topic at other sites we visited: Beth Shemesh (Samson & Delilah territory), Azekah (David & Goliath), and Lachish (Hezekiah & the siege of the Assyrians.)

Shephalah…we live in our own personal Shephalahs today (the place where light meets the dark). Do we influence with our light? Or do we allow ourselves to be influenced by the dark?

-Jenna Keiper

Today's Photos

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