Israel Travel Journal, Day 5

View from Yad Hashmona

We had the morning off to do whatever we wanted, which our group seemed to appreciate.

After lunch we headed to Jaffa (Joppa in the New Testament), where Peter had his vision on the roof of the house of Simon the Tanner. (Acts 10:9-16).

We saw the house tradition says was the house mentionted in Acts.  It’s on the dock, and it struck me that when Peter had the vision, which made it clear to him the Gospel was for the Gentiles, i.e, all the world, not just the Jews, Peter would have been looking west with a clear view west into the vastness of the Mediterranean.

In Jaffa, Arie gave us a history lesson about Napoleon’s battle here in 1799 and the plague that decimated his army.

When Arie finished talking about Napoleon, one of our group asked Arie a question out of left field about why camels sometimes won’t cross streams. Arie, without missing a beat, gave a lucid answer about how to train a camel to cross a stream by tapping the stream bed with a stick.  As Arie is answering, I’m thinking, “Who can answer questions about Napoleon, the Bible and training Camels and do it without resorting to Google?”

On the drive back to Yad Hashmona, Arie explained how to kill a fly while driving a car, how to deshell a boiled egg by blowing on one end of it, how he navigated the Israeli army through the desert by the stars after his compass broke and the scientific explanation for why nothing would grow in the swampland the Israeli government drained after purchasing it from the Arabs.

Arie then said, “If they had read the Bible they would have known not to buy that land.”  He then directed me to I Kings 9.  Sure enough, there it is.  Solomon gave some land to Hiram, King of Tyre, in exchange for timber he had given Solomon for his house, but Hiram was not happy and said, “What are these cities which you have given me, my brother?”  So, the Bible says, that area is called the “land of Cabul to this day.” Arie says that is the swampland.  I wasn’t going to argue with him.  If I ever get on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Arie will be my lifeline.

In the evening we went to assembly (church) with the Messianic Jewish believers in Jerusalem, where we all worshipped Yeshua and heard the Word preached.  The service was in Hebrew, but we worshipped nontheless with the aid of monitors with the lyrics to the songs (and the English translations).

Watching my Jewish brothers and sisters singing, dancing and lifting their hands in worship to Jesus is something I will never forget.

Tomorrow: Galilee. GS