Mount of Temptation – Jericho

I was leading a group in Israel and Jordan and one of the sites we visited was Mount of Temptation – Jericho. We entered into Jericho in the evening of 7 Dec, a day after Trumph’s announcement of acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Jericho is Palestine and not Israel. The streets in Jericho were quiet as there was an economic protest where all shops and restaurants were closed. I have been to Jericho many times and this silence was unusual.

Somehow the silence reminded me of the silent march of the Israelites around the ancient city of Jericho. We did not go to take over the city neither were we on the march. Yet the silence in the streets indicated that something was to come. In the Biblical story it was conquering the Promised Land. We were there to see the land. 😊 On 8 Dec after we left Jericho early morning, protest and demonstrations broke out in Palestine, including Jericho. Thank God for His divine protection and timing for everything.

“When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there. Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.” When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.” Joshua‬ ‭6:8-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬ (emphasis mine)

On 7 Dec, our Jericho guide waited for almost 2hrs as we were late. Our itinerary was to head straight to Elisha Spring, Seed of Hope and to the hotel. Instead, without asking for our consent, he brought us to the foot of Mount of Temptation. Yes, there is a big shop right at the foot of Mount of Temptation. I was not too concern since shops were supposed to be close. A quick stop to see the mount from the base should not be a problem even though we were tight for time. When approaching, I saw the shutters of the shop down so there shouldn’t be any distraction. Guess what? The shop assistants came out in the dimly lit road with samples of dates and half the group were more interested in the dates than the significance of the Mount of Temptation. A side note, Jericho does produce good dates!

Mount of Temptation - Jericho<

was reminded of Achan who were tempted by the spoils of Jericho and secretly kept some despite God’s command against it. I find it rather interesting that the temptation of Jericho is still at work now, even in small things like dates and shopping. 😅

“But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.” Joshua‬ ‭7:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I believe it is a personal warning God has for me this season even as I have come out of the wilderness and the first battle of “Jericho” comes with temptation in the most unexpected manner. Temptation is waiting in the dark corner to spring a surprise offer that I might not be prepared to resist. The spoils of the first battle, just like the first fruit, belongs to the Lord. Don’t even think about touching them as the consequences will be dire, just like the battle of Ai.

I pray that myself or anyone of us will not fall prey to such temptations. Let us fix our eyes on our Lord Jesus lest we be distracted.

Soaking Tour from Herrnhut to Jerusalem

I was in Herrnhut, Germany and then to Jerusalem in July 2013. The focus was to “dig” into the presence of God in these places. Herrnhut is where the Moravians kept prayer watch for 100 years after a revival under the leadership of Count Zinzendorf and Christian David. Jerusalem is a city that is most mentioned in the Biblical that pertains to the historical, present and prophetic understanding and destiny of believers of Jesus Christ.

Hope you enjoy the video!

Memorials to Remember

I haven’t been writing as much as I will like to as it has been a challenging battle since I came back to Singapore from my trip. As much as I want to take time to write and share about the richness of my trip to Herrnhut and Jerusalem, it has proven to be very difficult in the past 3 weeks.

I just want to do a short post about memorials. I am not one who gets sentimental with things or rituals. Yet, on the trip, I started making memorials of significant experiences through drawings and even objects. Memorials are Biblical as there are many accounts of God instructing the Israelites about having memorials to remember their experiences with God. The Biblical Feasts of the Lord like Passover, Pentacost, Feast of the Trumpets, etc are memorials. Stones are used and altars are built as memorials too.

This may sound strange, the day I experienced so much joy was the second last day in Jerusalem before I head back to Singapore. The reason for the overflowing joy was the news that I am going to the beach in Ashdod that afternoon. This was not planned as I thought I would remain in Jerusalem and I always longed to busk at a beach in Israel enjoying the beauty of the Meditaranean Sea. Throughout the 20-30 min walk home to get my swimmers and things for the beach so that my friends can pick me up was overflowing with exceeding joy. If it was not such a steep uphill climb, I would have skipped my way back! While at the beach, I picked some shells and a stone. I decided to keep the stone not knowing why I did what I did. I only had less than 4 hrs sleep the night before and the trip to the beach filled me overflowing that I was so energized!

Ashdod Beach
Ashdod Beach

About a week after I came back to Singapore, I was so stressed and pressured and I saw this stone. Something within me bubbled and I remembered God’s goodness. I took a marker and wrote on the stone, making it officially a memorial. Since then, often times when I was feeling really down, I will grab hold of this stone and to remind me that God remembered me and He still does. Besides the stone, I have the sketches I made that reminded me of God’s promises and His goodness.

Scribble "Kiss from Abba at Ashdod Beach 17 Jul 13 (Wed)"
Scribble “Kiss from Abba at Ashdod Beach 17 Jul 13 (Wed)”

Just want to encourage those of you who have never done this before, you might want to start. I am so forgetful most of the times of God’s goodness and promises. So I need to constantly remind myself. =)