Saturday, April 6, 2019

To the Depths with God

On this Old Testament study tour with our JV missionaries, we are covering a lot of ground in Israel, which means, lots of time on the bus.

But honestly, we loved it. Not only did it allow for good, long conversations, but also being able to see Israel at this beautiful time of year!

Late this afternoon we headed up to Mount Bental, a now disused Israeli army out-post.

As we drove there, our guide pointed out that if we just took a left here, we'd end up in Syria within minutes!

The valley below here (see picture below) was the location of a fierce tank battle during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 where Israel, vastly outnumbered by Syrian tanks, succeeded against all odds in blocking the Syrian advances.

Some of us wandered down into the bunkers with our tour guide, a former major in the Israeli army who said he spent months at a time in bunkers like this at one time!

They say the weather up here is often misty, if not rainy; and true to form, it was today,

Our last session was supposed to be somewhere up here, but with the rain falling, we made for the bus and got ready for Tyler's teaching there.

In that strange twist of God's sovereignty, the topic Tyler spoke on was just perfect tucked away in the bus while the rain fell as we sat alongside the road.

He taught on how to read Old Testament poetry, but more than that, spoke about poetry as literature not just for thinking, but for feeling.

And in particular, he spoke about the sometimes lost art of lament that is so often used in the Psalms.

"Lament is not giving up on God, but going to the depths WITH God."

As he walked us through Psalm 42, we looked out to Mount Hebron (above), spoken of in verse 6 of that Psalm, and it all made so much more sense.

"Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon...".

What a perfect end to another day of studying God's Word in Israel. 

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