May 18 – Trip to the Holy Land – Ein Gedi

DAY 6 – EIN GEDI

Theme: Worship

Read Psalm 46:1-11

Nothing is quite as refreshing as a cool drink on a hot summer day! Maybe that’s one reason I love Ein Gedi so much. If you ever visit Israel in the summer, one thing is certain: the desert will be hot! Very hot! Like 110° hot!

Maybe that’s why Ein Gedi is so appealing. It’s an oasis in the middle of the Judean desert. High in the hills, water gushes out of the rocks to form a beautiful stream with several waterfalls. This gorgeous, natural garden becomes the life-giving resource for vegetation and animals in the area. Ibex and hyrax often satisfy their thirst by the pools of Ein Gedi.

David knew this area like the back of his hand. In fact, it was like his playground… his backyard. He may have killed a lion and a bear in the area. When King Saul threatened David’s life, the future king fled to the caves of Ein Gedi for safety.

One day, Saul came perilously close to capturing David. He went into one of the dozens of caves to “use the facilities,” not knowing that David and his men were far back in the darkness. “David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe” (2 Samuel 24:4 – NIV).  However, David was overcome with guilt because of his presumption.  His tenderness to God’s timing became the hallmark of his life.

No wonder David was able to pen great psalms like: “Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow”  (Psalms 51:2-3,7 – NIV).

Above anything, David was a worshiper! With this backdrop in mind, he wrote, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Where can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2 – NIV).

David knew that the emptiness of life could only be satisfied by God himself. Pascal suggested that we have been created with a “God-shaped vacuum” that only He can fill.

Likewise, you and I were born to worship. We will worship something or someone, but we will worship. We might worship a job, a relationship, a hobby, a recreational pursuit, retirement, good health, or a thousand other things. We may not even realize what we worship – but we will worship.

Ein Gedi reminds us that only God can fill the void in our hearts to worship. 1600 years ago, Augustine wrote: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.” So look at your life… Discover what you really worship. Realize that the emptiness in your heart will only be satisfied by the vitality of walking with the living God.

Prayer of reflection:  Lord, would you show me the emptiness of filling my life with things that substitute for genuine worship of you?

Bob Fetterhoff

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