It is a wonderful place visit. I am sure that it is a wonderful place to live. I know what some people are thinking reading those last two sentences: “Are you kidding me? Are you not aware of the bombings going on from Hamas just on the other side of the border? Are you not aware that her neighbors want to destroy Israel?” Well of course I am aware, but when I visited Israel in 2010 I felt safer there than I do where I live. Let me explain why.
First, every citizen of Israel is required to serve in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) between the ages of 18-21 years of age. This means that every person at that age is required to carry their guns with them between those ages whether they are on or off duty. Now that may seem crazy, but the truth of the matter is that no one will mess with anyone because there are those IDF soldiers that are ready to act to protect the nation. I remember sitting in a restaurant when some of these young men and women came in to eat. They were obviously off duty as they were in civilian clothes, but all of them were carrying their weapons. It was as if a group of police officers had just walked into the joint; I felt perfectly safe.
Second, the tour that I was taking was not taking us to different places that put us in danger. Everywhere we traveled in the nation was clearly a place that was safe to visit. Even when we went to the border of Israel and Jordan (in the southern region of Israel, at the Jordan River in the Jordan River Valley), it was safe. While the Jordanians across the Jordan River were smoking cigarettes and chatting with each other, although they had the AK47s, the IDF was present with us and they never took their eyes off of the Jordanians. They were not looking for a fight by any means, but they were prepared to take care of us at a moment’s notice. No offense to the Jordanians, they just did not look as prepared as the IDF. For this reason, I felt safe.
Third, the guide that we had been extremely good. He knew what he was speaking about when it came to his own country. He served in the IDF as a young man during the Six Day War (1967). He took us to different places that were off the beaten path. Although we visited some tourist places, he took us to see things that most people do not see. Again, the places we traveled to were safe and away from any harm as far as Hamas or other folks that are looking to harm Israel.
Finally, we visited some wonderful cities. For instance, we traveled to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Tiberius, Sophia, Jericho, Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, and Capernaum. We saw Bethsaida, Bethany, and went to Herodia. Each place was beautiful. Each place was incredible to see. Everything that I have believed from the Bible came to life when I visited in 2010.
So why am I speaking of Israel like this? Well, I get to visit the nation once again in 2019. I believe it will be a really special trip as my wife gets to go with me this time. I will be planning to go again in 2020 if at all possible taking others with me. I cannot wait to see her expressions as she sees everything that she has believed from the Bible. Like me, I would expect that she will absolutely fall in love with the nation and her people.
The next time I post something about Israel, I will be able to use my own photographs instead of finding some online. It will be exciting to see God’s people and His property again.