Wilderness Wanderings–Day 3

March 21, 2007

Everybody is gone.

Rick and my parents left Tuesday morning, and all the rest of the parents were finally able to make it out just this morning. (Or at least we think they did.)

The extra time with the parents and the time with Rick turned out to be amazing, but there is a lot to blog about now and I’m behind, so here’s the plan for posting.

Today–Day 3 of Negev
Tomorrow–Day 4 of Negev
Friday–Fun with Rick
Saturday–IBEX goes to Galilee for a week

But for now, let’s get back to the Negev…

On Day 3, we woke up in the port city of Eilat, where we had spent most of the second day of our awesome Negev trip. The destination for the day was our hostel at Masada, so we spent the day driving through the Aravah, a desert valley that extends from the southern end of the Dead Sea to the Eilat and the Red Sea. We made a couple interesting (even tasty) stops along the way.

We stopped first at Timna Park–home to a whole host (that’s for Prof. J) of interesting things for IBEX students. Since the beginning of written history, people have been mining copper at Timna, so we were able to see and even crawl through some of the oldest copper mines in the world. Here is Casey discovering that he should stay in school to avoid a career as a copper miner.


As you drive through the vast expanse of Timna park, you will also see many cool geological formations, such as Solomon’s Arches, Solomon’s Pillars, and Mushroom Rocks. (None of these have anything to do with the real Solomon.) We climbed on all of these and even sang in Solomon’s Pillars on the suggestion of Melody Talcott. Good call, Mel.

Here is Casey and Sarah on top of one of Solomon’s Arches.


And here is Josh pulling a cliffhanger while trying to get on top of the Mushroom rock.


Our last stop in the park was at a life-size model of the Tabernacle in the setting of the Wilderness.


Our tour guide laid on the sybolism real thick, but it was very interesting the see the Tabernacle very close to what and where it would have been when the Israelites were wandering through the wilderness.

We made two more stops as we traveled North through the Aravah. The first was for lunch at Yotvata–a kibbutz known for its dairy products. Thankfully, the restaurant was not kosher, so I was able to enjoy a meat sandwich while I drank my chocolate milk and ate my ice cream. It was good stuff.

The second stop was at the Hai Bar Wildlike Park, where they are keeping and reintroducing animals that have historically resided in the Aravah and the Negev. We saw plenty of ostriches, snakes, oryx, hyenas, wolves, lynx, and even a leopard. The leopard must have had just as good of a lunch as we had, so he was chilling out and taking a nap.


We arrived at our destination of the Youth Hostel at Masada in the early evening. That night, our group held a chapel service out on the balcony. I led the singing and we sang a couple songs about God being a refuge for us (Masada is a great setting to get you to think through those songs). Dr. Grisanti from The Master’s Seminary was traveling with our group that week, and he gave a sermon from Deuteronomy 4. The sermon was entitled “Our Incomparable God” and the key idea was “As we consider our God’s greatness, who our God is, and what he does, we should be transformed into children who effectively demonstrate His character to the world around us.”

Think about it: There is no one like the Lord. No one’s character can compare to his, and no one can even come close to doing the things he does. If we realize this, we should be different people. If we say there is no one like the Lord, we should live like it–fully devoting our lives to his glory and not settling for anything less than that.

Money quote from Dr. G: “We’re not talking about an abstract philosophical truth. We talking about a life-changing truth.”

Preach it.

I went to bed right after chapel because the alarm clock was going to go off at 4:45 the next morning. Bring on Masada and the sunrise.


One Response to “Wilderness Wanderings–Day 3”

  1. catronea said

    I love it! That hostel at Masada was where I got locked out of my room….and the guy gave me 4 different room keys to go and check. I had quite a few embarassing moments that night as I knocked on the wrong room’s doors.

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