We spent almost the whole day in the Old City of Jerusalem today. We could spend another ten years and still not see everything there is to see. I’d been told that Jerusalem is a city within a city, but I had never really grasped it until seeing it today–Jerusalem is a city within a city. There is the Old City with a wall around it and then there is the modern Jerusalem which has been build around the Old City and across the hills. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about let’s try this: It would be like building a wall around the downtown area of Oklahoma City. The wall is to protect the citizens against their enemies. As time rocked along growth began to take place around the old city of OKC until you have people living in Midwest City, Edmond, Mustang, and other areas.? This is what happened in Israel. During the passage of time, and as other nations overthrew Israel, growth outside the city took place. Today, Israel is spread out all over the hills, but today we were in the Old City of Jerusalem.
We sat on the “Southern Steps” of the city early in the morning and listened as Kay Arthur taught us from Luke 19. It was a powerful lesson and to hear it sitting on the very steps that Jesus walked on to enter the city! Wow! How do you beat that! From there we went to the Western Wall. You’ve seen pictures of this on TV as Jews pray there day and night and stick their prayers in the cracks of the wall. There were many men and women praying while we were there today, but there is a fence to keep the men and women separate. I was so blessed by the humble prayers of these Jewish men, women, and children. Stop and think about this: Jews have been gathering at this exact place since the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. The generations change, but they keep coming to pray.
I was so amazed at all of the excavation going on around the Old City. Archeologists are digging and making all kinds of discoveries here in Jerusalem. On Thursday of this week I will get the opportunity to go with some others from our group to view the city of David. Archeologists now believe that David’s “Jerusalem” was located down the hill from where the Old City is today. They believe this because the water source, the Gihon Springs, are located down in the Kidron Valley. Look it up in your Bible maps to see what I am talking about. Anyway, I am going to visit an archeological dig and I’m so pumped! I’ll send you pictures.
The last place we visited today was the Holocaust Museum. I had the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. a few years back, but todays visit really hit me hard. There is not a Jewish person in this land who was not impacted by the Holocaust. To stand next to many of these people as I walked through the Museum and to know that they had a mother, father, grandparent, uncle, or some other relative who died was so sad to me. I left there with a heavy heart.
I sure hope you are enjoying the pictures and notes we’re putting on the blog. I’ve been getting emails from many of you that encourage me to keep posting each day. I was blessed with the opportunity to come to the Holy Land and I have felt a great need to allow others to share the trip with me. Shalom.
You can see the pictures as I add them here on the website.