Another day dominated by travel ended with our arrival in Jerusalem. I cried as soon as our plane touched the ground – guess it was the awe of the moment. Even though this will be a short stay in the Holy City, I hope to get a feel for the land and make preparations for a full trip in February, 2013.
The ride from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem was about 35-45 minutes in a small shuttle bus and it was drizzling rain, so visibility was somewhat limited but I was awed by the lush green farmlands and the number of trees that decorated the landscaping. What’s fascinating is that in 1948 when Israel became a nation again, the area surrounding Tel-Aviv was desolate. Reminds me of the closing words of Amos’ prophecy:
I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the Lord your God. (Amos 9:14, 15 ESV)
Granted there is always tension here with the Arab/Palestinian world, but if Amos is correct (and I believe he is) Israel is here to stay and regardless of what other governments, including our own, may try to do, this land is protected by a contract God made with Abraham over 3000 years ago.
On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, (Genesis 15:18 ESV)
If you break down that chapter, you understand that by the nature of the covenant, God bound Himself to keep this agreement with the descendants of Abraham, and there is no government or national coalitions that can override the Sovereign Lord. The earth is His and the fullness thereof. The fact that He owns it all gives Him full rights to distribute and deed land to whomever He pleases. The fact is, this land was given by God to a man and His descendants. Case closed.
Enough preaching for now.
We linked up in the evening with one of our congregants, Patricia Hudgins, who is studying at the Hebrew University here in Jerusalem. She is doing well and sends her love to all at The Fountain. Tomorrow (today for me), we plan to catch a panoramic tour of the city before meeting up with our other friends here later this afternoon.
I hope these blogs are making you all feel a part of what we are experiencing on this trip. Heard Gary Webb did a great job preaching this morning. We miss you all but not as much as we miss our kids. My love goes out to my Fab Five. They are truly the delight of my heart.