HOLY LAND TOUR-DAY THREE
Yesterday was a great day. Our group is drawing closer to each other and bonding over the shared experience of the Holy Land. It’s been wonderful to see it happen.
Our second day took us to two places:
1. The Desert of Zin
2. The Fortress of Masada
At first glance the two have little in common, but not true, they share many similarities.
They both are:
1. In desert locations
2. Exist in mountain terrain
3. Centered around famous people
4. Significant to the biblical narrative
THE DESERT OF ZIN
There is in Zin a massive and mysterious canyon where Moses provided water for the people and their live stock. Provide water he did but the way he did it changed his life.
Moses had been distraught over the people. Their constant grumbling and desire to return to Egypt were demonstrations of a faithless and impatient spirit that was all to quick to give up. On that day, while they demonstrated their lack of trust Moses demonstrated his growing anger. He took the Staff of God and, in full view of the people, hit the rock twice which greatly displeased YWEH. Moses failed to demonstrate God as holy and as a consequence was forbidden from entering the Promise Land. It was a tough day for Moses.
THE FORTRESS OF MASADA
This incredible mountain escape was commissioned by Herod the Great who was a prolific builder of great structures and palace retreats. He was not the rightful heir of King David and he wasn’t even Jewish but of mixed ancestry. He used his political skill to curry favor from Rome and got himself declared King of Judea.
His great fear was that the Jews would revolt or that Rome would revoke his power. So, in case of the worst case scenario Herod would need somewhere to go. Masada was built just for that purpose. It was in the middle of nowhere, on top of mountain, out in the desert of Judea. It’s a magnificent and impressive place.
A FEW THOUGHTS
1. Moses was a great servant of God, Herod never served God.
2. Moses delivered his people from Egypt, Herod enslaved his people.
3. Moses wanted only to help them, Herod wanted only to rule them.
4. Moses worshipped the Lord God, while Herod worshipped himself.
Two mountain experiences, two impressive things to see. The Canyon of Zin was of God’s design with immense beauty and majesty. The fortress of Masada was of man’s design and revealed the empty heart of a wicked man.
Let us not be overly impressed by what men can achieve but amazed at what God has done and still does. What are we building? Our we seeking to glorify ourselves or are we seeking to glorify the Lord God? The Canyon Rock or the Fortress of Masada? Which are you pursing?
Shalom From the Holy Land