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Learning from the Land of Israel

Rain, Floods, and Snow…in Israel!

{image_1}What a refreshing assignment to be able to write about water in Israel instead of drought! We’ve been waiting seven years for this! Last year about this time, I wrote an article entitled “Israel’s Water Crisis,” featuring pictures of forest fires, over-ripe rotten fruit, languishing cows, and a depleted Sea of Galilee. This year, however, the skis opened up and God poured out an abundance!

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The Harvests of a Fruitful Land

{image_1}The Bible describes the land of Israel in humble terms as a land of only seven species (Deut. 8:8): two grains and five fruits. However, despite being a land that is half desert, modern Israel produces 95% of its own food needs, has become a major exporter of fresh produce (especially citrus), and is a world leader in agricultural technologies. Though Israel produces over 40 types of fruit and groves abound, especially in the North, one can’t describe what the Land looks like without mentioning its vineyards and grey-green olive groves.

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The Shuk—A Feast for the Senses

{image_1}No other place on Earth has quite the color and flair that Jerusalem does, and arguably, no other place in Jerusalem has quite the color and flair of Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s largest open-air market, locally referred to as the shuk. A gem in the golden setting of central Jerusalem, the shuk dazzles with its feast of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. The famous outdoor market bristles with activity daily—except for Shabbat, the Sabbath—as vendors display their wares to shoppers from dawn to dusk, and spice-laden fragrances permeate the alleyways.

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Israel’s Biblical Zoo

{image_1}Anyone traveling to the Holy Land and visiting Jerusalem will find an amazing commemoration of two biblical events at Israel’s 62-acre (25-hectare) zoo: creation and Noah’s ark. Both of these events have something in common—animals. Situated amidst the bustling, modern neighborhood of Manahat, the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, or better known as the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, is an ideal picture of God’s love for creation. Here, the theme of creation and the miraculous account of the ark are beautifully woven together.

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Lessons from the Wilderness

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At a Bridges for Peace staff devotion, we were inspired by a dynamic God-Tube video about the 1992 British Olympic runner, Derek Redmond. Although Redmond had undergone eight surgeries prior to the games, he made the fastest time for the first round of the 400–meter race and also won the quarter–final. However, in the semi–final, his hamstring suddenly snapped, and he fell to the ground in excruciating pain. A stretcher was brought out to the track, and his father ran down from the stands to assist him. But instead of quitting, Redmond chose to finish the race and hobbled down the track holding on to his dad for support to the end. The entire stadium of 65,000 rose for a standing ovation. Though he didn’t win the prize he was after, he certainly taught thousands of people a lesson in endurance.

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God’s Water Ways

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I’m quite sure everyone, in some way, has been moved by water: by the mighty roar of a crashing waterfall, the vast expansiveness of the sea and its unending curling waves pounding the shore, the rush of a river over and around unmovable rocks in its winding path, or the stillness of a pastoral pool. If rocks can cry out (Luke 19:40) and trees can clap their hands (Isa. 55:12), then water can surely speak too. It doesn’t take much reflection time to hear their lessons on life. They are so simple and so apparent that even an unchurched unbeliever can hear or observe them.

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Israel: God’s Oaks of Righteousness

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“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1–3, NASB).

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Bearing Fruit in God’s Kingdom

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Throughout the Bible, God uses simple, everyday illustrations to communicate spiritual truth. Frequently these illustrations are taken from the agrarian lifestyle common in biblical times. These teachings were meant to bring clarity and insight to the readers in an easy-to-understand manner. Unfortunately, we live 2,000 years after the events of the Bible, and most of us are not involved in growing our own food. Even if we are farmers, the methods have changed dramatically over the centuries. We read Scripture through our own cultural eyeglasses, and often miss truths because we simply don’t understand the illustrations.

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You Are The Potter – I Am The Clay

Early in the morning, a prophet made his way out of the Potsherd Gate of the city of Jerusalem heading to the house of Yonadav the potter. With quick pace he took the trail churned to fine dust by the hoofs of thousands of sheep and goats to where the Valley of Ben Hinnom and the Valley Kidron intersect. The two valleys cradle Jerusalem in their arms on the east and west, meet, and then head southeast carrying runoff water to the Dead Sea.

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ISRAEL & THE CHURCH:
GOD’s ROAD MAP

REBECCA J. BRIMMER
& BRIDGES FOR PEACE LEADERS

Full color, revised edition introduces the Hebraic roots of Christianity and tells the story of God’s covenant relationship with Israel. Study questions, excellent for small group or personal study.

(288 pages)

Buy Here

 

 

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