in Scribbles, Travels

Looking for a hiding place

A waterfall at En Gedi, Israel

Dead Sea Region. We concluded our trip south today. Tonight we are again in Jerusalem. Everyone is preparing for the quiz in the morning. The reward will be a free day to rest, shop, or explore on our own in the Old City. The group is relatively healthy (a few sniffles, nothing more; some soreness from the extra hikes, nothing that snorkeling in the Red Sea or a float in the Dead Sea didn’t fix).

One favorite site to visit before we arrived back in Jerusalem is En Gedi (“spring of the young goat”). En Gedi is an oasis surrounded by the Judaean wilderness and the Dead Sea to the east. This area is always green because of the water, even when the temperature is well into the hundreds during the summer months. All around the falls at En Gedi are caves. These caves made En Gedi one of David’s favorite hiding places.

From the Dead Sea there is a pleasant hike to three water falls. Along the way we saw a few ibex and an entire family of rock badgers (hyrax or conies). “There be four which are little upon the earth but they are exceeding wise. … The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks” (Proverbs 30:24, 26). What can be learned from a rock badger? Even creatures (rodents?) can teach us wisdom (seeing life from God’s perspective). Rock badgers have enough sense to hide from danger in a safe place. That sounds reasonable. We (humans) often forget that we are feeble because of our sin. Daily we are exposed to great spiritual dangers. Yet, for the most part, we act oblivious and go happily on our way. The wise dwell safely in the Rock, Jesus Christ.

We walked to the highest fall then read the story where David and his men were hiding in one of the caves (1 Samuel 23:29—24:22). King Saul got word that David was in the stronghold of En Gedi and brought his elite snipers to the area. Just by “coincidence” Saul entered the very same cave where David and his men were hiding. David had an opportunity to take Saul’s life but refused to try to force God’s will in his own power and strength. However, David did cut off a portion of Saul’s robe. David knew he was to be the king. Saul knew David was to be the king. There is a lot of truth in the old saying, “God’s will done God’s way results in God’s blessing.” Like us, David wasn’t always so consistent. But this time, he got it right—hiding in the cave with his Rock.