A review by Miles of the events of our 3rd day in Israel
This is my third time in Israel and I feel just as excited as I did the first two times. To be in the nation which God has chosen with His own finger is a real privilege.
Today began with the group travelling to the garden of Gethsemane with a Jewish tour guide who would be with us the whole day. His knowledge of the scriptures and the Jewish history was excellent; he emphasised and explained things in a way that I had not heard before. Apart from this allegedly being the very garden that Jesus had wept in, our Guide shared with us that his grandparents had been buried not so far from there on the Mount of Olives and that this land was once under Jordanian rule. It is Jewish custom to regularly visit the graves of passed family; however, when the land came under foreign rule, his family were not able to visit the grave for 19 years, until the Reunification of Jerusalem in the success of the 1967 6 day war. Apart from the fact that the land has been allotted to Israel by God Himself, it is reasons like these why they do not give in to sharing or dividing their land despite receiving pressure from other nations under the pretence of “peace”.
Following on from this, we went to Masada where a large group of Jews had fled to escape Roman rule 2000 years ago. Sadly, the Romans caught up to them with the intent of destroying their Jewish customs and enslaving them. For this reason, these Jews felt obliged to resort to mass suicide even though the Torah clearly teaches against this and the Jews who do this or who have tattoos are not permitted to be buried. Although this could seem as heroism on the side of the Jews, this does express a lack of trust in God’s ability to preserve His people. The fact that they had the ability to kill themselves, their children and their wives shows that they definitely would have been able to bear slavery whilst continuing to obey the commandments of God regardless of any opposition or threats they would have received from the romans (Not that there is anything good about killing your wife and children). Nevertheless, 2,000 years on, Rome has dissolved and the Jews live on and once again occupy Masada as well as the whole of Israel. Thus, despite the Jews previously losing land to Jordan (the garden of Gethsemane) and Rome (Masada), they have had both of these territories restored to them and of course they would, it has been given to them by God! Funny enough, this was in our bible reading plan on our first day here (See Numbers 33:50-34:29).
To top the day off, we were able to visit the 24-hour worship centre. I had heard many awesome testimonies of this place and had a strong desire to go as I had never been. Whilst being there, I soon realised that the testimonies did not exaggerate at all. We had an extraordinary time in the worship centre as the presence of The Lord was there so strongly. As we worshipped Him we could literally feel the weight of His glory and presence upon us. I thank God for today and I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here.
Here are some short clips from day 3: