Having just returned from a trip to the Holy Land, I am still riding high on a wave of euphoria. The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes continue to echo through my heart.
I am an American which means I live in a land where we get excited if something is more than 150 years old. In Israel, unless a ruin is 1000 years old it barely feels antique.
Everyone Should Go
I believe every Christian, who can financially and physically manage it, should visit Israel, and here is why.
The ancient stones of Israel tell stories of real people breathing, loving, and grieving. The Bible is not a storybook of flat illustrations. It is three dimensional. Moses bled, Joshua cried, Hosea loved, Hezekiah laughed, and Peter smelled like fish.
When the people rebuilt the wall under Nehemiah’s leadership their backs ached and blisters arose on their hands. They tripped while carrying rocks, and their neighbor lightened the mood with a joke. The people may have dressed differently than us or spoke another language, but they were REAL.
THAT is the value of a trip to Israel. Reading the Bible becomes a 3-D, surround-sound, technicolor adventure.
That is the most tangible and valuable result of this trip. But many more reasons exist to sacrifice the time and money to travel to Israel.
Reasons To Go
- Bible comes alive. As I stated above, walking around the locations of the Bible breathes oxygen into every inspired word. You see the hills of Galilee and smell the Sea as you read the Gospels. You can imagine the crowd there hanging on Jesus’ every word. Even now I can picture the vivid green of the north and the barren desert of the south.
- Archeological proof builds confidence. The seals of minor officials mentioned in the Old Testament displayed in a museum validate even small details of Scripture. You view a sign from the Inner Court of The Temple at the time of Jesus. You walk through Hezekiah’s tunnel, tracing the steps as his men. Far underneath the streets of Jerusalem you can touch the foundation stones of The Temple. No matter how strong your faith is, SEEING and TOUCHING so much physical proof drives out whatever skepticism still lingers.
- Get a handle on the modern nation of Israel. Walking through the villages and cities brings the constant conflicts into focus. You can see and feel the need for the extreme vigilance Israel employs in order to remain secure. We toured areas of modern history and gained understanding of the War of Independence, the Six Day War, and the Yom Kippur War. More than ever, I understand the challenges this nation faces.
- Appreciate diverse cultures of the nation. Israel is the most diverse conglomeration of people I have ever seen. When Jews from around the world began returning to the land after the 1948 War of Independence, they came from more than 150 nations. The cultural garb of the different sects of Judaism juxtapose against the many secular Israelis. The different Arab communities display their own clothing and customs. We visited a Bedouin community with its tents and camels. The mix is a feast for the eyes.
- Understand the size and geography of the most pivotal location on the planet. Israel is relatively the size of New Jersey. New Jersey! Yet, it is claimed by three major religions and many cultures as their most important spot. Name another 8,630 square miles on the planet that is more holy to more people, or a bigger powder keg. Driving all over the land in a week brings the size of the nation into perspective, as well as demonstrates the geographical extremes the land contains.
These are just my initial thoughts on why everyone should go.
Pictures of the Land continually parade through my mind. As I marinate in the memories of the trip, I find myself thinking, "Next time I want to also ... " There are not many places in the world that I am planning my next trip on my way home. And so I want to encourage you- go if you possibly can!
It is easy to put a more glamorous trip sooner, like Paris or Hawaii. And I am not saying those are bad spots. They are lovely.
But, if it is AT ALL possible, take this trip first and at the youngest possible age. Go to Israel, the land of the Word, God’s Promised Land.
Good Battle Tours is the organization we went with for our trip. Cliff Graham has a passion for the Word and the reality of the power of God as He has moved in His people. I personally give this tour my highest recommendation. In fact, if I could figure out how to go with them again this Spring, I would!
Here is the best part: Cliff has some special prices for a few spots on his Spring trips. There were people who had to cancel on trips, which opened those slots up for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
How could it get any better? The best trip any Believer could take, and at the best price YOU WILL EVER FIND. I am not exaggerating. You can get your round-trip flight from New York, lodging, tours, and all food except for a few lunches, for $1000.00.
It will be the best money you spend for the best week of your life. If you are interested go to the website and inquire about the trip. And then go! You will never regret it.
(Scroll through the pictures above to see more of our trip.)