Lessons learned from Israel Tours:
When visiting other countries you enjoy learning the culture, food, history, flora and fauna that make those countries unique. You enjoy the experiences, share them with your friends when you get home and then go on with life. That’s what holidays are all about. If the nation you’re visiting is Israel it not like that at all.
On our last tour to Israel, one of our group made the comment that every leaf and rock in Israel is a lesson, each contains a sermon and is life changing.
That is a perfect description of Israel.
A site we love visiting is Neot Kedumim; it’s a fantastic Biblical Landscape Reserve, commonly referred to as the Biblical Garden. When imagining a garden, you think of manicured lawns, hedgerows, pretty flower beds, tapered trees, meandering walkways and maybe a fountain or two. That’s not Neot Kedumim.
Neot Kedumim is 620 acres designed to look like natural landscape, but is a “unique recreation of the physical setting of the Bible in all its depth and detail that allows visitors to see life as it was lived 3000 years ago.”*
The goal of Neot Kedumim is to grow all the various plants mentioned in the Bible, plants such as the Almond, Sycamore, Cedar, Cypress, Olive, Oak and Terebinth trees, Date Palms, and even hyssop and caper shrubs can be found in there.
When you take a tour through Neot Kedumim, the knowledgeable guides explain not only what the plants are and where they’re mentioned in the Bible, but what the spiritual lessons are regarding them. Do a little Bible study and see how often God uses agriculture and even animal husbandry to teach His people the most important lessons about Him and His relationship with them.
The Hebrews were shepherds and God called Himself the Good Shepherd. (Psalm 23) God taught them not to unequally yoke together different breeds of animals (Deut 22:10) and we understood why in the New Covenant when He said not to be unequally yoked to unbelievers. (2 Cor 6:14)
Jesus used agriculture in many of the Parables; the Mustard Seed, the Pearl of Great Price, the Wheat and the Tares, and the Sower in Matthew 13, the Lost Sheep in Matthew 18, the Wine in Old Wine Skins in Matthew 9, the Barren Fig Tree in Luke 13, the Workers in the Vineyard in Matthew 20, the Budding Fig Tree in Matthew 24, the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25 among others.
The point is, the land of Israel is very important in God’s communication with His people and when you travel the land, it becomes evident immediately that when God speaks about this particular land mass it isn’t a metaphor or allegory for something else and it isn’t a spiritual state of being. It’s absolutely true that every leaf, blade of grass, tree, hill and creature crawling over them are there to teach us about God, His relationship with His people and their relationship with the world. It reveals much about His nature and character and about how we should respond to Him.
There are many wonderful places on earth to visit, but there is no other place on earth that can change your life like the nation of Israel.