A Peaceful Experience

Looking for a nice peaceful experience amidst today’s chaotic world? One of the most beautiful regions in Israel is the Judean Desert. Specifically, the Wadi Qelt (wadi means “dry river bed”) is a place where you can hike. I’ve hiked the trail from near Jerusalem to Jericho a half a dozen times back in the days of living in Israel (1981-82). With some groups that we lead, we enjoy walking a small section of the trail near the St. George Greek Orthodox monastery. The hike down to the bottom of the canyon provides a reflective encounter with God.

Last year I recorded a short five minute video of one of the hikes in the Qelt. The trail actually eventually heads east to the area of Herod the Great’s winter palace and “New Testament” Jericho. Coming out of the Jericho area and ascending to Jerusalem, this was the biblical “Jericho – Jerusalem road” (Luke 10) called the Ascent of Adummim. One would literally ascend about 4,000 feet to Jerusalem on this path that went through the Wadi Qelt and the Desert of Parat (Jeremiah 13). From Jericho to Jerusalem was about 18 miles.

The walk down to the bottom of the Wadi Qelt with Dr. John was one of the many highlights of our trip. While the hike back to the top was strenuous, the experience was wonderful! To think Jesus was tempted here for 40 days is remarkable.” 
Wadi Qelt

Jesus Temptation

What also makes this experience so special is that this was where Jesus was tempted. He spent 40 days in this “dry and weary land” (Ps. 63) tempted by Satan. Later, he also would have walked to Jerusalem following the same route through the desert. This was the way to Jerusalem from the east. 
John the Baptist also lived in this region. He prepared the way for Jesus, quoting from the prophet Isaiah.
After you view the video below, read Psalm 23, Psalm 63, Matthew 3-4, and Isaiah 40. Reflect upon the truth of who God is.
May Christ be your peace today!

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