It’s day two of exploring the city of Jerusalem. I’m still in complete awe of the fact that I live here. I go to college in the Holy Land. It’s going to take some time for that thought to settle in. For now, still excited for all the wonder my eyes are about to see. I feel blessed beyond belief to have the opportunity to see first-hand the places I’ve read about in the Bible for years. What an unreal experience. We’ve begun to get settled in and are already finding our surroundings and learning how to navigate throughout the city.
Never in my life did I imagine I would be able to actually visit Israel, let alone live here for five weeks. Even though it seems like a long time to see the city, I can already tell there is more to see than I could ever go to or fully learn about in this amount of time. Regardless today was an amazing day. We walked to the city of David and were able to see the Mount of Olives from an amazing vantage point. While standing from a balcony we were able to see how people during the time of the Bible would have seen the land. Brian read Psalm 125:1-2 while we were standing there which says “Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem so the LORD surrounds his people from this time forth forever.” Until that moment I was obviously never able to actually visualize this verse.
There are certain words in the Bible that I feel many times get ignored due to the fact that we simply don’t have the knowledge and or visuals to fully grasp their meaning. This verse is a perfect example of this. Being able to see what the author thought everyone would be able to view while reading this verse made the verse come alive. When looking at the masses of mountains surrounding us, the verse of how the Lord surrounds us took on a whole new meaning. It helped me realize how vast and huge the Lord’s arms are that cover us in comparison to the surrounding mountains. A beautiful picture now ingrained in my memory.
After this we followed a staircase which led to an excavation of the City of David. An old house was visible showing how small the houses were during biblical times. There were no doors separating any of the rooms and there was an ancient toilet which made me extremely thankful for the sewage we have today! It was the bare minimum of a toilet in addition to the fact that having a toilet was apparently only an asset to the wealthy. Finally we arrived at Hezekiah’s tunnel. This was an underground tunnel that allowed the people in the city of Jerusalem to get water from the Gihon Spring.
When we first stepped into the tunnel the water was about thigh high then for the rest of the time it was barely above our ankles. It was pitch black besides our flashlights and the tunnel was about the size of a coffin. Needless to say it was awesome! At least to those of us without claustrophobia… A new dear friend of mine whom I met this week, named Christy, had the privilege of celebrating her birthday today. Because of this, a spontaneous Happy Birthday song broke out midway through the tunnel. Amazing acoustics! When we got out of the tunnel about a half hour later all we wanted to do was turn around and venture back through.
On the other side of the tunnel we sat on the steps of the pool of Siloam. This was the pool that Jesus sent a blind man to wash and get healed in after spitting in the mud and putting it on his eyes. Seeing the Bible come to life before your eyes is truly an awesome and humbling experience. I cannot wait to see what else this city has to teach and show me!