This morning at 3:30, I remembered I was in charge of the scripture thought for our group today. I was so tired last night I forgot all about it. So at 3:40 I realized I’d better figure that out or I wouldn’t get any more sleep.
I focused on King Hezekiah and 2 Kings 18-19, when twice, Hezekiah’s kingdom is threatened with horrific slaughter by the Assyrians. The Jews are a small kingdom with not much army to speak of and the Assyrian army was vast and mighty.
Each time the Assyrians threaten him, Hezekiah takes the problem to the Lord in the temple through prayer, and he asks the prophet, Isaiah, to pray and seek direction for them from God. Then he acts in faith on the promises God gives. Both times the kingdom of Judah is miraculously saved.
I love the example that Hezekiah sets for us, that when we have a problem, no matter how overwhelming, we can turn to the Lord in prayer, and follow the counsel of the prophets, and find answers to help us.
15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. 16 Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. 17 Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, 18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only. 2 Kings 19:15–19
We walked the Western Wall Tunnel today. It’s a tunnel that goes below all the Muslim houses along the Western Wall. It was an impressive experience. (That is an entirely inadequate expression of the event, but given how tired I am right now, it may be the best you get tonight.)
We visited the Temple Institute visitor’s center. Bigger mind-blowing experience. Devout Jews are working so hard and diligently to be prepared to rebuild their temple when the time is right. The sense of their desire made me better appreciate what a great gift I have as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have temples all over the world, and it’s an even bigger blessing than I’ve ever realized or appreciated before
We visited the southern wall of the Temple Mount today and walked up the steps where Jesus would have walked, and stood at the gate where Jesus would have entered. Mind blown.
We heard the Muslim call to prayer just as we were about to walk through Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The tunnel is about a half-mile in water mostly just above the ankles. Not deep water, but some areas were quite narrow and had a low ceiling. It felt good to soak our feet in cool water after the hot trekking we’d done all the rest of the day.
Tonight I pack up and prepare to leave this area in the morning. Among an overwhelming number of things we will do tomorrow, we will be floating in the Dead Sea.
Ready or not!