Leigh Anne and I had the opportunity to do something that has been on our bucket list for a long time – visit the Holy Land. We did a 10 day tour with our pastor and church friends this past May. It was amazing to see the Old Testament and New Testament come to life. Seeing where Jesus lived and died was very moving.
I was surprised at how small the country of Israel actually is; which is the size of New Jersey or about 8,000 square miles, yet it is the epicenter for the turmoil in the Middle East and will become the epicenter of the end times. And yet as we toured throughout Israel, we felt very safe the entire time. Some of the highlights for us were seeing the Sea of Galilee, Masada, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives and Calvary.
Leigh Anne and I even tried riding camels. Nothing but a lot of laughter and a few screams from Leigh Anne. Very similar to riding a horse.
The food was very good during our entire stay. In fact, Israel is a major food exporter.
Here are a few “ah-ha” moments that we learned while in Israel:
1) In the New Testament, it says that John the Baptist ate locusts and honey. I bet you thought he ate insects and honey comb. We found out the flour for his bread came from the bean of the locust tree and the honey came from crushed dates.
2) The Sea of Galilee is 700 feet BELOW sea level.
3) Two-thirds of the gospel accounts of Jesus’s three year public ministry took place on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee. This section of the lake is only about 10 miles wide.
4) The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is also where Mount Moriah is located. This is the spot where Abraham offered Isaac to the Lord, as recorded in the Old Testament.
5) Every 18 year old Israeli citizen will serve in the Israel Army; two years for women and three years for men.
As with all vacations, it was good to come home, but this trip to Israel will forever remain as one of our most favorite trips.