Arrival in Jerusalem….go to a party held every 7 years….

We arrived at night to the hotel in Jerusalem. I was wowed as we came into the city. The day had already been a full day with stops at Bet-She’an, a section of the Jordan river where 30 feet separate Jordan from Israel, the Dead Sea and to the top of Messada.

One of the ladies who was with us wanted to go down to the Temple Mount and partake in the Festival of Sukkot. I, like everyone else, was tired. But the Spirit of the Lord impressed me to go on with Gloria.

The Festival of Sukkot begins the fifth day after Yom Kippur and it was the last day. It is quite a drastic transition, from one of the most solemn holidays in the Jewish year to one of the most joyous. The word “Sukkot” means “booths,” and refers to the temporary dwellings that the Children of Israel were commanded to live in during this holiday. There were “palm booths” (temporary structures on the fronts of homes and businesses.) And Sukkot is also a harvest festival, so there are many vegetables and grains that are gathered in spots.

More of me standing in awe was I was there for an event that happens only every 7 years.
A ceremony called Hakhel Ceremony.

At the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles” there is to take place an assembly of the whole people, “men, women, children, and the stranger that is within your gates.”

The purpose of this assembly is “that they may hear and so learn to revere the Lord your God and to observe faithfully every word of this Teaching”

Our arrival at Temple Mount was greeted with open arms. Men, women and children were there.. And Gloria and I were the strangers within the gates. So we went into a Synagogue where were the women welcomed us in to a packed room (only women) to watch the Men dance in celebration of finishing the reading of the Torah.

Packed, hot and electrified. Three words that describe the event.

We met a lovely lady who explained to us the event and walked us into an area where we could view the celebration. Men and women are kept separate from each other during this event. A sheet with holes cut into it so the women could “watch” the celebration. As the men dance around, they put little candies and flowers through the holes. It was such a joyous celebration.

I really desired that we could have been there earlier to watch it longer. It was a celebration of the Word… The Promise of God…It is a Celebration of Jesus, Who is the Word, the Promise of God, only they don’t know it.

Wow… I’m in Jerusalem.. Really I’m here in Israel, standing at the Temple mount. Thank you Lord for allowing me to see this event….

Chemistry Lesson: CaCl2 14.4%, KCl 4.4%, MgCl2 50.8% and NaCl 30.4% Makes what????

The Dead Sea (Yam Hamelakh — “The Salt Sea”), is the lowest point on earth at about 1,300 feet (400 m.) below sea level, lies at the southern end of the Jordan Valley.
It is 34 miles (55 km.) long and varies between 11 miles (18 km.) and 2 miles (3 km.) in width. The Sea is 1,400 feet (430 m.) deep.
This unique sea is fed by the Jordan River. There is no outflow; and the exceptionally high rate of evaporation (high temperatures, low humidity).

The area is best known for being the site of the biblical towns of Sodom and Gomorrah.
South of the Sea, on the way to Eilat, is a rock salt formation that tourists are told is Lot’s wife.
Lot’s wife ignored God’s admonition not to look back at the cities he was destroying as they left and was turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).

Floating is a novelty that makes visiting the Dead Sea a kick, but most people come for the therapeutic value of the mud and salt water.

The Dead Seas waters, with the highest level of salinity and density in the world, are rich in potash, magnesium and bromine, as well as in table and industrial salts.
The Sea produce large quantities of raw chemicals. These are extracted and exported throughout the world for use in medicine, agriculture and industry.

An interesting note, the Dead Sea is actually shrinking. It is dropping 3 feet every year. There are groups looking at how to stop this and restore the Dead Sea to it’s natural dimensions.

We were able to visit, slap some mud on and float… No need for a water softener..

The Dead Sea from Israel. Jordan in the background

Proof of Float? Or step… mind you, the flip flops have a very unique way of floating. They almost flip you over.
Recommend FULL WATER SHOES!!!! It hurts to step on the beach – SALT ROCKS

From Massada… Overlooking the dead sea Jordan in the background

From Massada… at sunset… Israeli flag foreground and Jordan in the background

1 Kings 18 & 19(amp) halt and limp???? Run away? That Still Small voice…

One passage of scripture I enjoy reading is the books of Kings. Elijah and Elisha.. two prophets that I find great encouragement from…

1 Kings 18 has one of the biggest miracles performed by God.. A challenge from Elijah in an exchange with King Ahab…
It reads:
17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, Are you he who troubles Israel?
18 Elijah replied, I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, by forsaking the commandments of the Lord and by following the Baals. 19 Therefore send and gather to me all Israel at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of [the goddess] Asherah, who eat at [Queen] Jezebel’s table. 20 So Ahab sent to all the Israelites and assembled the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, How long will you halt and limp between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.
22 Then Elijah said to the people, I, I only, remain a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men.
23 Let two bulls be given us; let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood but put no fire to it. I will dress the other bull, lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it.

We know the rest of the story… God came down and fire hit the alter and proved that He is God… and all the prophets of Baal were killed.

Then Elijah prayed for rain… and rain came….
Then Jezebel threatened him with death…
Then he ran away as he forgot what God had just done…
Feeling sorry for himself… he cried as he thought he was alone….
And God responded:
1 Kings 19:11 And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;
12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.

I am standing on Mt. Carmel overlooking the Jezreel valley knowing that I hear that same still small voice…. and saying “Speak, as your servant is listening”…

Statue of Elijah

Looking out to the Mediterranean Sea… What the servant saw… before the cloud as a hand of man…

Path to the top…

Mark 9:2 The Transfiguration….

2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.

What comes next is Peter suggesting that a memorial alter be constructed. Rather than respond, v. 5 Suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

As we travel some of the sites, all of the memorials that Jesus always said “don’t construct” are now built…

One has to put aside the “religious” aspect of the sites in order to hear the voice of God.

I stood here and said “LORD transform me!”

On the Mount looking out over the valley…

One of the magnificent gardens on the mount…

Church of the Transfiguration…

Door to the Church…

To show the scale of the door… WOW….

An Engineering Marvel… Water Transport..

Water is the life source of all cities.. Megiddo is no exception… Water was transported in tunnels to the city… truly a marvel.. We “toured” the tunnels… Was a wonderful stair stepper exercise…

Sign noting the entrance to the water tunnels…

Going down…

Still going down…

at the bottom crossing over the water flow…

Going up… read the sign…