Jerusalem & the Holy Lands in a Day! LR to Memphis, Aug 23!

Two more travelers needed!!

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 Click here to reserve your seat on the tour bus: 

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1RBHjkcVh7mkGD8CFOSVckKx8_60PHSCz7u9wupaosas/viewform

4 Experiences (IMAX film, 2 Museums, Mediterranean Restaurant)

3 Museums

2 Meals with friends

1 Low price

GO to the Holy Lands from Little Rock in a Day and learn more about the lands of the Bible than you can imagine!

Day Trip Flyer

Summer in the Psalms reading from Psalm 78 (with comments)

Psalm 78:4–7 (NIV84)

4 We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. 5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. 7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

A theme in this section of Psalms that I’m noticing is the emphasis on the generational passing down of faith. The instruction to do it is not a guarantee that our children will become trusting and obedient (as the rest of this chapter 78 clearly shows!) Interesting things in this chapter to me:

1. Note the author doesn’t instruct parents to defer this directive to “professional pastors” or leaders.

It doesn’t forbid or negatively talk about leaders supporting parents in this task either. In fact, you could argue that the author of this psalm was a spiritual leader doing what spiritual leaders should do: Encourage, train, and equip parents to disciple their children!

2. The Psalmist is concerned that even the “children yet to be born” should be considered as a reason worthy of passing on the news of the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord”.

Here is yet another passage that shows God’s heart for his creation from pre-conception, conception, birth and beyond. Perhaps this speaks of the greatest argument to advocate for the unborn, not that murder is just wrong (which it is), but that they have a right to life so that they can come to know the Lord God who formed them and who has a plan for their life on Earth.

3. Vs 12: “He did miracles in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan.”

This is a reference to the influence of Egypt on the life and history of Israel as well as to a city in Egypt that saw the power of God worked in the miracles of the plagues. “Zoan (zohʹan; Heb.; Egyptian Djanet; Gk. Tanis), the residence of the kings of Egypt during the twenty-first and twenty-second dynasties (ca. 1070-715 B.C.) and a major commercial and political center down into the Ptolemaic period (ca. 332-30 B.C.), which is located at modern San el-Hagar on the Tanitic branch of the Nile in the northeast delta, about seventy-three miles northeast of Cairo. The ‘fields of Zoan’—evidently a region around Tanis—are described in Ps. 78:12, 43 as the scene of the wonders associated with the Exodus. According to Num. 13:22, Hebron was built seven years before Zoan. Zoan was still an important city in the days of Isaiah and Ezekiel (Isa. 19:11, 13; 30:4; Ezek. 30:14)[1].” Those going to Memphis in August (Tennessee, not Egypt) will learn more about the Egyptian 21st and 22nd dynasties (click here for more info: )

4. Last section of the Psalm says: Psalm 78:65–72 (NIV84)

“Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, as a man wakes from the stupor of wine. 66 He beat back his enemies; he put them to everlasting shame. 67 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim; 68 but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved. 69 He built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that he established forever. 70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; 71 from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. 72 And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.”

The whole psalm is a recounting of the mighty deeds of God from Egypt, through the wilderness, through the conquering of Canaan, to the anointing of David as King.

In this section the writer is describing God’s rejection of the lands of Joseph (the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, both to the north of what becomes Jerusalem because Shiloh and the early worship of God in the Land were located here. It’s the failed reign of Saul and his idolatry and disobedience that followed him that’s being rejected by God.)

Instead, God took a shepherd boy and moved him to the (literally) highest point between the Mediterranean Sea and the lowest place on Earth (the Jordan River Valley and the Dead Sea, you can see them in IMAX with me in August: ) and established the worship of his Name there. God doesn’t need high and mighty men to make his Name great. A shepherd boy after his heart will do just fine.

 

View looking south southeast towards Bethlehem.  The Elisa Monastery on the left side of the picture is situated in a low "saddle" and from it one can look down into Bethlehem or back to modern Jerusalem.

View looking south southeast towards Bethlehem. The Elisa Monastery on the left side of the picture is situated in a low “saddle” and from it one can look down into Bethlehem or back to modern Jerusalem. (Click to enlarge)

“The road on the right side of the image is the main road that runs from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and it follows the ancient route.

According to the Protoevangelium of James, Mary rested (Kathisma, Greek for “seat” or “chair”) on the way to Bethlehem.

The Kathisma Church is located just off the right side of the image—right next to the road.”

Pic and Text used with permission from http://www.holylandphotos.org

 

5. True and Godly spiritual leadership requires two things (in this order in my opinion): Integrity of heart and the gift of skillful hands.

God chiseled the heart and hands of David into those of a spiritual leader by the use of painful tools: persecution, loneliness, betrayal, and blood. Leaders don’t shy from trouble and pain, they allow God to use it to shape them into loving shepherds of the hearts of people.

[1] Paul J. Achtemeier, Harper & Row and Society of Biblical Literature, Harper’s Bible Dictionary (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1985), 1166–1167.