4 Minute Read + videos and pictures
TODAY’S BIBLE READING:
1 Samuel 24:1–25:44
TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
1 Samuel 24:3 (CSB): “When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, ‘David is in the wilderness near En-gedi.’ “
REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):
Once again, the Bible came alive as I was reading the Bible chapters for today. A trip that my wife and I took to Israel last summer has proven to be helpful time and time again as it has helped me to visualize the places in which the Bible events took place.
In today’s reading, we read about En-gedi. This is the place where David was hiding from King Saul. It is also the place where David cut off the corner of King Saul’s robe without his knowledge.
So, let me give you the first four verses of 1 Samuel 24 and then I’ll show you a map, and some pictures and videos to help you visualize what En-gedi looks like.
1 Samuel 24:1-4 (CSB): “When Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, ‘David is in the wilderness near En-gedi.’ So Saul took three thousand of Israel’s fit young men and went to look for David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. When Saul came to the sheep pens along the road, a cave was there, and he went in to relieve himself. David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave, so they said to him, ‘Look, this is the day the LORD told you about: “I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.” ‘ Then David got up and secretly cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.”
First, the map. Below, you can see En-Gedi marked in the center of the map with the red pin. It is on the western banks of the Dead Sea. (On a side note, you may observe that the shape of the Dead Sea is much different in the map below than in the maps at the back of your Bible. That is because the Dead Sea is dying. Not enough water is flowing into it from the Jordan River. Its banks in some places have receded one or two football fields from where the banks once rested.)
We visited En-Gedi as we were traveling south to Masada. Here are a couple of videos I took during our brief stop.
Now, here are some pictures that I took. It was amazing to think that we were in the general proximity of the story where David cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
I’ve heard that story ever since I was a child. Last year, it was surreal to visit the place where it happened.
I had always thought that I would like to visit Israel but I never had an intentional plan to make it happen. Then, someone made it financially possible for Kim and me to visit Israel last summer.
Ever since I went on that trip, I want to go again! In fact, I want to take a group one day to visit many of the places we visited last summer as well as quite a few more. I would love to lead that group through Bible studies in the months leading up to the trip to study about the sites … and then experience those sites together.
Maybe, just maybe, the Lord will allow me to do that one day.