They say that the bible comes to life in Israel. There is something truly amazing about reading the stories in the places it actually happened. It was a very special experience for me when I first came here. And now I get to take my children to those sites and tell them the bible stories right where they took place.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forever more.” Psalm 125:2
While it is a blessing to be able to walk in the land of the bible, there is even more. It is the images that are described that become real. Visuals are very powerful. Seeing the Old City of Jerusalem surrounded by mountains is what the writer of Psalm 125 saw. And it is what we can still see today. It gives a visual reminder of the protection of the Lord. I can see the mountains and I am reminded of the faithfulness of the Lord.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:1
Most of the deer in Israel live in the dessert. There is very little water and it is very hot. During the dry summer months, you can find deer panting and looking for water. When I see a deer, I can relate to how it feels as my soul pants for God.
“…. See how the flowers of the field grow….” Matthew 6:28
The flowers are suddenly there, after a rainy season. But as the weather heats up, they wither and dry up within a day. All that they are good for now is to be burned. This is a visual that the Lord Jesus used to encourage his disciples not to worry about clothing. For me it became real, when seeing the usually dry hills, suddenly with the most beautiful flowers, only to be gone within days. When flowers that are only there for a day are clothed with such splendor, how can I doubt that He will also care for me?
The bible becomes visual while reading it in the Land of Israel. It is truly amazing and I hope you get to experience it. But, while visuals help, the really ‘coming alive’ is in our hearts, and that can happen anywhere.