Harp and Story

Mt. Gerizi–September 14, 2009

Mt. Gerizim–September 14, 2009
We have begun working. Yesterday, we spent the day pruning the olive orchard that Nir owns. We also spent quite a bit of time getting the irrigation system back in working order. It felt really good to get out and get our hands right into the mix and make an impact. Nir was quite surprised at the progress we made and with the level of productivity we displayed, he began to invision new projects for us to work on during our stay here. It looks like we might be pouring cement in his winery by the end of the week.
Today, we did more history touring. We started on Mt. Gerizim at a point that looked over Jacob’s field, a place that scripture records Jacob paid Shechem 100 pieces of silver for. Yet this very land is under dispute and scheduled to be given to the Palistinians if the “Arab Peace Plan” is initiated. We read from Deuteronomy and Joshua about the ceremony that Israel held as they came into the land–reading the blessings from Mt. Gerizim and the curses from Mt. Ebal. It was quite a revelation to note that this very area scheduled to go under PA control was the first area where Israel ratified their covenant with YHWH. The Israelies that live in the area call this the “Heartland” of Israel. Nir even labels his wine with the Heartland label. The Septuigent translated this area as the “navel of the world”–the place most closely connected to Heaven. And now it is considered as a “settlement” that would have forced evacuation (Gush Katif style) if our sitting president has his way. Most of the world doesn’t even know what they are talking about and certainly have not been here to see what is really here!
Our other stop in the afternoon was at Elon Mare, which is understood to be the place where Abraham had his conversation with YHWH about counting the stars and his decendents being as numerous as the stars and the promise of the land that was an integral part of the covenant that YHWH made with Abraham. The covenant with Abraham and his seed, is not complete without the prescribed land that was included in that covenant. That land prescribed was much more than is present Israel, and yet the world is pressuring Israel to give up more. And YHWH through His prophets promises the judgments He will bring on those nations that try to force Israel to divide. As we stood on top of the mountain and gazed over the landscape, peering over into Jordan, up to Lebanon, over to the Mediteranean Sea, and down towards the Negev, we could begin to see the enormity of the promise that YHWH made to Abraham and His seed. As we looked to the wide expanse of the sky over that high peak and imagined the number of stars that would be visible that night, we began to understand just a little of the incredible promise that YHWH made with Abraham—and us, who are now heirs, according to the promise. Heady stuff for grape pickers!
We are living in fantastic times. The prophecies and the headlines are matching up. And we here on Mt. Gerizim, picking grapes and pruning olives are beginning to understand that we are here for a purpose–perhaps the begining of that fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, “and foreigners shall come and dress your vines”. What a privelege!

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