Dec 11, 2008

Reflections of God's Holy Land

A personal journey through Israel.
Come away with me. Experience the Wilderness of Zin where Moses led the Israelites and see the craggy desert mountains, suggestive of Utah. Or see the Judean Wilderness where John the Baptist wandered and Jesus fasted for 40 days. Emerson describes the “endless immense waves of sand-colored mountains,” instantly bringing to mind the Peruvian desert south of Lima. Visit Ein Gedi which Samuel called “The Rocks of the Wild Goats," where David hid in fear and wrote several Psalms and where King Herod later cultivated Balsam.

How exciting to see the recent photos of these Biblical lands, to read Vamosh’s historical and archaeological accounts and to experience Emerson’s soul-baring reflections as she encounters these places for the first time. Her self-examinations will challenge you to deepen your faith. Her vivid and emotionally evocative descriptions give you a real feel for the Holy Land.

Reflections explores 38 Biblical sites. Each site contains the following:
  • recent photos,
  • various passages of scripture recording things from both Old and New Testament that happened at the site,
  • Vamosh’s “Did You Know” section about the history and archeology
  • Emerson’s “Reflections” section, bringing the sites to life and bringing you into the emotional and spiritual aspects of being there.

For those of us who have never been to Israel, a handful of surprises are revealed. For example, the Elah Valley where David fought Goliath is just an old, dry stream bed, narrow and lush, bright green, curving between the sloping hills. You can imagine the Israelites up on one hill with the Philistines on the other. I never realized how confined and narrow David’s fighting ground was.

The Spring of Herod is surprisingly small, like the little creek in Tennessee that runs along Highway 441, yet this is where God dwindled Gideon’s army. Get chills as you experience Emerson’s excitement as she stands atop Mt. Arbel overlooking “what may be the whole of Jesus’ Galilean ministry…. The places he would preach, the town he would live in and the sea where he would utter ‘follow me.’”

The material inside the book is amazing and what drew me in, but the exterior of the book and the structure of the reading is fantastic, too. This book is an excellent coffee table book. Within the first fifty pages, I thought of a friend to whom I must give this book. It’s Biblically educational, it’s spiritually motivational and it’s passionate. I love my copy and will read it often.

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