People, Places, Psalmists and a Hot Wheels Car -- By: Richard Marymee
People, Places, Psalmists
and a Hot Wheels Car
My trip to Israel started out the same way most of my best trips began, with me in a hotel room far from home on the first day there, asking myself, “What in the world was I thinking!?”
Several months earlier, when I’d first heard of this trip in the safety and comfort of my home, I remember thinking it was just the kind of way I’d like to make a trip to Israel: getting to do something extraordinary and in a serving capacity (of sorts). Most of my big trips in recent years had all been serving trips of some kind, like going to Honduras to build a home with Habitat for Humanity, or to Sri Lanka to work on relief efforts after the tsunami.
Also, the realization was kicking in that I was, for the next two weeks, going to be spending a LOT of time with 19 people who were almost complete strangers, working 4-5 hours a day on what seemed at first glance a most mind-numbing experience of sorting through tiny rocks and other debris. How was I ever going to get through this?
Yet as it turned out, God knew just what He was doing by putting it on my heart to go on this trip in the first place, and I was not going to be disappointed. Although I never did find any exciting artifacts—unless you consider a toy Hot Wheels car exciting!—I did, however, find other kinds of treasures instead: an appreciation for the geography of the city that has been the center of faith to Judaism and Christianity for thousands of years, and visits to sites where historic battles took place, where Roman legions marched and conquered, as well as the many other armies of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and others who preceded them. This was a place of incredible history, as well as a place of future events.
As Gordon led us from one site to another, we had a chance to appreciate the connections between this city and the books of the Bible most of us were so familiar with, such as Proverbs, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Jeremiah, and so many others that had been composed in the very location where I now was. As we stood on the ridge above the City of David, Gordon quoted the book of Psalms, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people.” Suddenly I could look at the map of the city of Jerusalem in the back of my Bible I’d carried for 15 years and recognize the layout of this city personally. And this made it come alive so much more.
We looked out on the Mount of Olives from the east side of the city. Here was the place where Jesus paid the price as He agonized over His coming ordeal, concluding, “Not My will but Your will be done” to the Father. How could I not be awed, knowing th...
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