Israel 2022: empirical learning tour

Beth Adonai Rohi Ministires was back in Israel December 3rd, for the first time since 2018. A resounding successful trip in more ways than one.

There were 12 of us including my wife Dorcas bishops and others. The oldest member was a retired 90 year old former headmaster and geography teacher seeing somethings he taught but never saw with his 82 year old wife. Team learned bible empirically, rode camels, swam in the dead sea, climbed Mount Moriah and prayed at the wailing wall. They ate st Peters fush, drank from Elishas spring in Jericho some baptised in the Jordan. Israel 2022 trip was empirical rich and unique learning tour.

The 2023, December trip, will be tailored for youth and young adults. Our youth are already fund raising to travel and learn.
I hope to write on a number of Israel related articles but in this post, I am looking at something unique.

On arrival, our coordinator provided  wonderful helpful souvenirs. However, further on, during the tour of Bethlehem I was endowed with more.
The one that stood out the most was an engraved rock (in picture).
I think, it’s supposed to be an office paper weight. I recognised it’s colours as of Judean desert rock appearance. The rock mason is on every house in Jerusalem, by law. Every building in Jerusalem is clad in this masonry on it’s exterior works. I see it as strickingly beautiful antiqueted  ancient look. The style and masonary work of this kind is everywhere. Prominently so, is the Western wall, wailing wall or wall of tears as it may be called, on mount Moriah western slope from the time of Herod in Jerusalem. 

My thought was, what this gift  probably meant. In scripture, rock, I know is used as metaphor, signifying strength, steadiness, and durability.

I asked myself, what this could imply? Where was God leading in this? Could this mean the focus in 2023? I could not conclude. Still praying!
However, I looked at scripture and articles by others on the subject.

I looked at an article by a professor whose write-up helped enrich my thoughts in light of this rectangle rock I received.

What is the symbolic meaning of the term rock in the scriptures?

Robert J. Matthews, dean of Religious Education, Brigham Young University. Whom I largely quote wrote,

Experienced builders know that a structure cannot endure unless its foundation is strong. The words rock and stone, referring to the prime elements in ancient foundations, are used in the scriptures as metaphors signifying strength, steadiness, and durability. The prophets used these metaphors in a variety of ways, conveying an impression of the unwavering character of God as well as the need for spiritual solidarity in the foundation and structure of our own lives.

Moses spoke of the God of Israel as a Rock: “Ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect, … a God of truth and without iniquity.” (Deut. 32:3–4). David wrote, “the Lord is my rock, and my fortress, … my shield, … my high tower.” (2 Sam. 22:2–3). Paul explained that the children of Israel… “drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Cor. 10:4). Psalm says ascribe greatness to our God the rock (psalm 18:2.) Jacob spoke of the Lord as “the shepherd, the stone of Israel.” (Gen. 49:24.)

Isaiah spoke of the Lord as “a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.” (Isa. 28:16.) And Paul explained that the faithful Saints belong to the household of God “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” (Eph. 2:20.)
Therefore Jesus is called a stumbling stone to those who reject him, “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient.” (1 Pet. 2:8.) Jacob explained that “by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation. But … this stone shall become the great, and the last, and the only sure foundation, upon which the Jews can build.” (Jacob 4:15–16.)

Pray for the Jewish people to recieve Yeshua Messiah upon which they can build. Currently, they hold a form of religion denying the power thereof. Pray that the foundations amongst us as a church be firmly reestablished in 2023.

We remember Mary at her village well in Nazareth during  this season. A tried stone, precious corner stone was to be born through her. She was highly favoured to carry the Rock of our Salvation.
I pray that we see how favoured we are, entrusted to carry the gospel in our time.

I pray you carry Christ the Rock in your mind. Have great Christmas season.


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