Saturday, April 23, 2011

Journey to Israel - Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Tuesday, 3/21/89

Tuesday morning I awoke to sunshine and the beckoning hills of Jerusalem. All I could say was, “Thank you, Jesus, Thank you, Jesus!!!” This was our first full day in Israel. We started out by viewing how Jerusalem is situated on a hill with valleys surrounding the city, and then more hills. This makes Jerusalem like a bowl with mountains surrounding her for protection.  In the same way God protects His children, as though we are cupped in His hands.

Israel is a country that is 185 miles in length and 90 miles wide, smaller than our American states.  It is the doorway connecting three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. Because of its strategic trade routes everyone wants to control Israel for their own economic reasons. That helped me understand why it has always been such a hot spot, a troubled and war-torn country.

The conflict between the Arabs and the Jews is better understood by knowing how each group believes. The Jews believe that God gave Israel to them in His covenant with Abraham. The Arabs, or Moslems, have a law that once something belongs to Islam it is theirs eternally. The tension between these two groups of people is very obvious. Hatred prevails. In fact, while there I met an American school teacher who is teaching elementary education in Israel, and she told me that the Arab children are being taught hatred as part of their religion. To throw rocks at the Jews is to earn brownie points. Raising children with that philosophy is not an indication of future peace, only war and strife.

We viewed the old City of David, which lies outside the current walls of Old City Jerusalem. Houses today are still built on top of each other on the sides of the hills. The roof of one house is a sidewalk or step up to the next level of houses. With King David living at the top, it was easy for him to look down on the roofs of the houses below him and see Bathsheba taking a bath. The question is, what was she doing taking a bath out on the “sidewalk” except hanging out a sign, “Available”.

King David was raised as a humble shepherd boy. Shepherds are considered the lowest class of society. However, God saw in David a man after His own heart. King Saul, full of pride, took large places and was brought down. David took a small place and God made it the great city of Jerusalem. This lesson of God using the humble continued to repeat itself over and over again to me in various settings during our stay in Israel. As God looks on our hearts, may He find them humble, available for His use.

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