If you thought you had to be in a submarine to spend a day below sea level then you have never been to the Dead Sea in Israel. The Dead Sea is located in a rift in the earth’s surface that stretches from north of Israel in Lebanon to Mozambique in Africa. The Dead Sea is the lowest place on the surface of the Earth at around 1300 feet below sea level. As we traveled from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea, we passed the Good Samaritan Inn, which commemorates the story Jesus told of the Samaritan taking care of the man who had been attacked by thieves. One of the realities for all of us is that the Bible is coming alive as we travel the Holy Lands and see the places we read about and where the teachings were given.
Here are a few pictures that outline our day. We started at En Gedi where David took refuge when King Saul was hunting him. This picture is of a beautiful waterfall that is fed by a natural spring that is higher up on the mountain. We sang together and Pastor Jon Strutz shared a devotional
A highlight of the day was to go up to the high stronghold and palace of King Herod at Masada. You may remember the story of Masada and the zealots who, when faced with their gates finally being destroyed, took their own lives rather than being taken by the Romans in 73 AD. What an incredible place filled with wonder and sadness. Today, in modern Israel, many Israeli military personnel take part in their final swearing in ceremony on top of Masada.
Did you know that you cannot sink in the Dead Sea? That is right. With no effort at all you simply lay back, stretch out and float. A cool experience but you have to be really careful to not get the water in your eyes or mouth. If you ever make it to Israel than this is a “must” experience!
The caves at Qumran were used by God to preserve copies of the Scriptures for two thousand years. An amazing find discovered by a shepherd boy throwing a stone into a cave. The cave in the picture below contained some of the most extensive and important scrolls found in clay pots.
Our day concluded with a short visit to Jericho. (Check out this short video!) Wow, Joshua did fight the battle of Jericho and walls came tumbling down. Archeological digs have found what is believed to be civilizations dating back long before Joshua led the people of Israel across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Standing on this location helps us to remember that God is able to do immeasurably more than we think possible. So, keep your chins up, look up and expect the help and deliverance of God as you walk with Him.
Tom and Roberta Hurt