Day Eight: Ramah, Valley of Elah, Jerusalem Museum, Bethlehem

p1020638-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Tomb of Samuel- Ramah

Prayer Emphasis Today: That God would break through the spiritual darkness and oppression that exists here in Israel. That God would open hearts and eyes to the Gospel. We continued to pray specifically for religious cultural christians, religious Jews, and Muslims as we traveled on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Our first stop today was Ramah the birthplace and home of Samuel the prophet. We discussed many things that happened and took place here, most notably the faithfulness of Hannah the mother of Samuel. The story of the “Sun Standing Still” in Joshua 10 is also in visual proximity. Here are some the facts about Ramah and our teaching time from the life of Hannah out of I Samuel 1.

p1020629-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Text of I Samuel 1: The Birth of Samuel

Hannah (God’s Favor) The Faithful: The Gospel Is Greater
1. The Gospel is greater than our difficulties. (1-7)
2. The Gospel is greater than our depression. (8)
3. The Gospel is greater, pray with boldness! (9-16) (Prayer/Encouragement from a priest)
Hebrews 4:14–15 (ESV)
Jesus the Great High Priest14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 10:19–22 (ESV)
The Full Assurance of Faith19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
4. The Gospel is greater, you are not alone! (17)
John 14:26 (ESV)26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 16:7 (ESV)
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
5. The Gospel is greater than your attitude. (18)
6. The Gospel is greater, just ask God!
Philippians 4:6–7 (ESV)
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

p1020632-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Teaching On Hannah: I Samuel 1

1 Samuel 2:11 (ESV)11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli the priest.

1 Samuel 7:17 (ESV)
17 Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there, and there also he judged Israel. And he built there an altar to the LORD.
1 Samuel 15:34 (ESV)
34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul.
1 Samuel 16:13 (ESV)
13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

Samuel’s Death
1 Samuel 25:1 (ESV)The Death of Samuel
1 Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah.

Our next stop was the Valley of Elah, the site of one of the most well known stories in all the Bible, David and Goliath. Here we traveled out in the valley and read and discussed the testimony of David.

p1020642-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg The Valley of Elah

p1020643-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Teaching From I Samuel 17- David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:1-11 (ESV)
17 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. 2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines. 3 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them. 4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. 7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. 8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel this day. Give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

p1020648-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Teaching From I Samuel 17- David and Goliath

Before going to Bethlehem, our last stop of the day, we toured the Second Temple Period Model at the Jerusalem Museum. This enormous model of the City of Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period is a great tool for understanding the immensity of the Temple and context for Jesus ministry, trial, and crucifixion while in Jerusalem.

p1020664-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Herod’s Temple (Temple Sanctuary)

p1020665-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Temple Mount (Eastern Gate)

We finished the day in Bethlehem visiting the Church of The Nativity, Jesus traditional birthplace; and stopping at a rarely visited area on the outskirts of Bethlehem that provides an incredible visual of where Jesus was born. Our themes for Bethlehem were “Kinsman Redeemer” and the “Incarnation”. We had a great time of teaching out of Ruth and on the Luke narrative concerning the birth of Christ.

p1020692-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Teaching From Luke 2 and Ruth in Bethlehem

The principle called the kinsman redeemer is when someone was widowed, it was the responsibility of the nearest in the family to take her as his bride, so that she was not destitute. Rather than take another woman out of a family, that family already should take care of its own, and so the law of what was called levirate marriage, kinsman marriage, was that the nearest man would take the widow for his own bride so that she might not be left destitute.

Ruth 1:6–18 (ESV)
Ruth’s Loyalty to Naomi
6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the LORD had visited his people and given them food. 7 So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. 9 The LORD grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me.” 14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.

Ruth 2:1–7 (ESV)
Ruth Meets Boaz
2 Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. 2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” 3 So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. 4 And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. And he said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered, “The LORD bless you.” 5 Then Boaz said to his young man who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?” 6 And the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, “She is the young Moabite woman, who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers.’ So she came, and she has continued from early morning until now, except for a short rest.”

p1020694-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Teaching From Luke 2 and Ruth in Bethlehem

Luke 2:1–21 (ESV)The Birth of Jesus Christ
2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Glory of The Incarnation

The incarnation was the way in which Christ took on humanity. The word means “in flesh,” and the method of the incarnation was the virgin birth.

The incarnation of Christ is unquestionably the supreme miracle—God joining Himself with humanity forever as the God-Man. – Chuck Swindoll

The birth of Jesus is the grandest light of history, the sun in the heavens of all time. It is the pole-star of human destiny, the hinge of chronology, the meeting-place of the waters of the past and the future.
Spurgeon, C. H. (2005). Exploring the Mind and Heart of the Prince of Preachers: Five-Thousand Illustrations Selected from the Works of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (257). Oswego, IL: Fox River Press.

The whole teaching of Holy Scripture places the Incarnation at the center of the methods of God with a sinning race. Toward that Incarnation everything moved until its accomplishment, finding therein fulfillment and explanation. The messages of the prophets and seers and the songs of the psalmists trembled with more or less certainty toward the final music which announced the coming of Christ. All the results also of these partial and broken messages of the past led toward the Incarnation.
Torrey, R. A., Feinberg, C. L., & Wiersbe, W. W. Vol. 3: The Fundamentals : The famous sourcebook of foundational biblical truths (337). Public Domain.

Philippians 2:5–11 (ESV)5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

C.S. Lewis, Miracles,
The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this. . . .
In the Christian story God descends to re-ascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity . . . down to the very roots and sea-bed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the ruined world up with Him. One has the picture of a strong man stooping lower and lower to get himself underneath some great complicated burden. He must stoop in order to lift, he must almost disappear under the load before he incredibly straightens his back and marches off with the whole mass swaying on his shoulders. Or one may think of a diver, first reducing himself to nakedness, then glancing in mid-air, then gone with a splash, vanished, rushing down through green and warm water into black and cold water, down through increasing pressure into the death-like region of ooze and slime and old decay; then up again, back to colour and light, his lungs almost bursting, till suddenly he breaks surface again, holding in his hand the dripping, precious thing that he went down to recover. He and it are both coloured now that they have come up into the light: down below, where it lay colourless in the dark, he lost his colour, too.

John 1:1–2 (ESV)The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.
John 1:14 (ESV)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Gospel Imperatives: Incarnational Living
(Embodying the Character of Christ and the Mission of Christ, through the Spirit of Christ)

1. Be a part of the Body, The Church.
2. Engage culture, and be culturally present!
3. Be intentionally missional.
4. Love justice.
5. Demonstrate mercy.

p1020689-2012-03-15-20-30.jpg Listening To Dad Teach:)

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About George Ross

I am a pastor, church planter, husband, and father of four.
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