As believers in Israel, we have to acknowledge the enormous privilege of having close proximity to important biblical sites. If you have ever visited Israel, you know how powerful of an experience it is, to stand in the very places where God spoke, taught, healed, performed miracles and so much more. The experience of seeing those places, touching them, standing right there under the open sky on these ancient paths, within arms reach of biblical altars and historical remains — it changes something in you. The impact of that experience alters you in a profound way.
This year has presented so many challenges to each and every one of us, but also a different set of challenges to us who minister to people. We need to ensure we are continuously connected to God, that we hear His voice and walk in His truth — that is what charges our spirit and propels us to continue reaching out to people during these trying times.
With that in mind, we took 20 pastors and leaders from Beit Hallel and other congregations, and journeyed out to a very special place, one we wouldn’t have access to normally, since its located on the outskirts of Nablus (which is considered Palestinian territory, and Israelis are forbidden from entering). Our amazing brother and tour guide, Baruch, had arranged a military escort for our group and we were able to visit some incredible places — one of them being The Altar on Mt. Ebal, where God commanded Israel to write the Law on those stones.
To be able to stand on that very same ground, by the very same altar Joshua had built, reading Deuteronomy 27 where God commands the altar to be built, and just allowing God’s word to pierce us, just as it had pierced the people of Israel when they first heard it — a remarkable experience what left us all deeply moved.
“Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.
There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses. All the Israelites, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the Lord, facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there.”
There is so much left to discover in the Land that God chose as His own. We look forward to our borders opening soon, so you can visit us and allow your spirit to be nurtured as you walk these ancient biblical paths with us.
In the meantime, please pray and consider supporting discipleship and leadership training in Israel during this time, as we find creative solutions to continue nurturing the spiritual life of our pastors and leaders.