To the ends of the earth!

BPEA Ministry Updates

Jul 30, 2016

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MASADA

Meg, Lori and I began our climb up Masada shortly after 5:00 AM, in an attempt to beat the heat of the day. Even so, it was 31 degrees Celsius in the pre-dawn hours.  We watched the sun rise over the Dead Sea, which reminded us that God’s blessing is still shining on Israel, and that for all of us it's a new day.   

Bill and his daughters, Lori and Meg, begin their walk up Masada in the early morning.

Although Masada is not a Biblical site, it holds great significant for the people of Israel. After the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, they began to relentlessly destroy and disperse the Jews. A fortress was constructed on Masada’s flat top, and it became a place of refuge for both Jews and zealots. Since it is such a difficult climb up the mountain, and is surrounded by wilderness plains, it gave the Jews a clear view of any approaching enemies.  However, the Romans built a rampart up the side of Masada, constructed battering rams and catapults, and breached the walls of the fortress. When the Jews realized they would be helpless against the brutal, overpowering Roman armies, they chose to commit genocide, followed by suicide of the remaining few, rather than suffer unspeakable torture and death at the hands of their enemy. Nearly one thousand souls perished.

Atop Mt. Masada in Israel's heat!

It is one of the saddest and most poignant events in Israel’s history, but is used as a powerful teaching tool when young men and women enter the army today.  As part of their training, every new recruit must visit Masada, where they are told the story. There they vow, “Never Again!” Never again will they allow their nation to be destroyed by the enemy. That is why Israel has the most highly trained and fiercest fighting force in the world today.  Israel, although a tiny slice of land surrounded by enemy nations, has survived and thrived through almost continuous attacks against her since she became a nation nearly seventy years ago.  The remains of the fortress still exist today, and as we walked around viewing it, we blessed the people of this land, knowing God has promised He will bless those who bless Israel

Bill and his daughters at the Dead Sea!

After walking back down the mountain, we drove to a spot on the Dead Sea to float on top of the water, which is one-third salt and minerals, and therefore, completely buoyant. Nothing can grow or live in the Dead Sea, and it serves as a lesson to us, that we too will become spiritually stagnant and dead if we only take in but never give out.  In spite of the impossibility of life in the Dead Sea, Zechariah 14:8 and Ezekiel 47:8 prophesy that life will flow from it one day.  Recently, scientific research has found evidence of life at the bottom of the Dead Sea, and in some places even along its shores.  What God is doing with the Dead Sea, speaks of His life-giving grace available to anyone whose life is dead and broken!

Tomorrow we travel north to Jerusalem! I am excited about all God has for us there. Please send your prayer requests right away, as the girls and I will be spending time on Monday in the Garden Tomb, praying for every partner by name, and believing for miracles.  It’s easy to believe for miracles when you are looking at the empty tomb!

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