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A Watchman's View

6 August, 20096 August, 2009 0 comments Jerusalem and Judea Jerusalem and Judea


From atop a hill in Israel, in Judea, like a Watchman I gaze over the Land. I am overcome with its beauty, peace and the sense of an eternal Presence.

A special law seems to rule over nature in the Judean wilderness, a place that Generations of human habitation has been unable to destroy, natural beauty that has existed from a time when tribes wandered here.  Here earth and sky unite to present an ever-changing kaleidoscope of color. From the misty first light of dawn, through the harsh sun-splashed whiteness of noonday, they dissolve into the soft beauty of the pastels of twilight and, finally, into the moonlit black and white of the night.

From a high hill overlooking the road to the date palms of Jericho, seemingly uninhabitable wilderness spreads before me. Bits of green mark an ancient water hole or a modern village. A flock of sheep is herded by a sandaled Bedouin child who lives in a black topped tent set incongruously beside a satellite dish and generator.  Nearby, a camel stands in a postcard pose in the heat of the mid-day sun.

On a clear day, I can see the east bank of the Jordan River where Moses and the Israelites trod before they crossed over to the Promise Land.  I listen to the silence of the desert, yet the wind carries with it a faint whisper of ancient sounds: of Priests and the Temple sacrifice, of traders, shepherds and farmers, of celebrations - and yes, the cries of war, shouts of victory and wailing of defeat. These same sounds are echoed in the Land today, as even now we wash the ancient western wall of the Temple Mount with our tears for things past and present.

Drawn by an irresistible force, I turn west toward the mountains that surround Jerusalem, the beautiful City on the Hill, the ancient Walled City. Her high stone walls of gray and beige reflect a special quality of light. The stones dominate the city and surrounding area. Yet looming over them is the sacred Temple Mount, whose alternating layers of soil and broken walls have protected the Holy Place of God\'s Presence for nearly two thousand years. Nearby, I can walk on the same paving stones that people walked on long before the conquering Greek and Roman civilizations were formed.

I see the Eastern Gate, yet sealed and, with the world, awaiting the coming Day of the Lord.

Overwhelmed with its past and future, I am blessed to be alive in its present. I am filled with joy and rest in the security of God\'s continued and unfailing watch over Israel. A sense of the presence of His Angels guarding her borders constantly reminds me of the merciful love of the Holy One who set the boundaries of this Land. Israel\'s destiny is my destiny. I am but one Watchman on a hill. I am forever one with this Land.



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One with the Land



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