Ein Gedi: Where Do You Meet with God?
Ein Gedi in Hebrew means “spring of the wild goat.” Located west of the Dead Sea, it is an ancient oasis in the middle of the Judean desert. Common mammals there are the Ibex, Hyrax, and Red Fox. There are over 900 species of plants in this lush oasis. There is also a nearby synagogue (dating to the 5th or 6th century) that was uncovered in recent years near the entrance to Ein Gedi.
The Judean desert is brutal, hot and deadly. When King Saul was chasing David, Ein Gedi is where David found refuge. You can read about it in 1 Samuel 23 and 24. Ein Gedi is a large wadi–a ravine in the ground. It is a lush, tropical oasis that has natural caves and pools of cool water. It is a life-saver in the hot desert.
Whenever we lead trips to Israel, we spend an entire morning hiking into Ein Gedi. It’s a slice of Heaven. It’s easy to see how this place could be a refuge in a hostile world. As I taught our morning lesson there one time, I was struck by how peaceful and calm this place was. I spoke about David’s hiding here and the cool pools of water. I asked our group where they went to find life-giving water in the midst of the harshness of life.
Ein Gedi is a reminder that while life can be harsh and cruel at times, God invites us to take refreshing breaks in His Word. This is where we will find life giving food and water to sustain us when we cannot go on any longer. I believe that one of the reasons there are so many discouraged Christians around, is because so many do not spend regular time in God’s Word. They look to other things to sustain them (i.e. Facebook, shopping, sports, TV, hobbies etc.) but these things will not provide the kind of refuge and renewal we so desperately need. We need an Ein Gedi experience on a daily basis. We need living water. Standing in this ancient canyon is a powerful reminder why David spent time hiding here. This was his life-giving oasis. We all need one. Where is yours?
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor
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