Our introductory day began in the place where Israel became a nation again according to the prophecies given in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and also Leviticus 26. Because of their disobedience in not returning to the land when God provided the opportunity, their servitude continued until May 14, 1948. That is the exact day the prophecy indicated it would end. So even though we heard the story of the dream of Theodore Herzl for his vision of a future Jewish State and the work of David Ben Gurion and others, it was God's sovereign hand that was guiding them.
We then visited the Palmach Museum. The Palmach was the organized fighting units of the Hagana (the Defense) for the Jewish communities prior to the declaration of the state. In other words, this was the predecessor of the Israeli Defense Force or IDF. Their story, told through the lens of one small unit throughout the war of Independence, was moving. We even got to speak with one of the few living members of the Palmach at the museum.
We then did a walk through the Shuk or market area in Tel Aviv. Many street vendors were there. And we had our first falafel as our lunch. We then ended the day visiting the ancient port city of Jaffa or Joppa. This is where Jonah went to try and run from God's command to go and preach to Nineveh. He escaped to a ship heading the opposite way but was intercepted by a storm and a large fish. We can't escape the hand of God. This was also the city were Peter had a vision of a sheet coming down out of heaven. God used the vision as a means to break him of his prejudice against Gentiles. Soon some men arrived asking for him to speak to their master Cornelius and the Gospel was opened to the Gentiles (Acts 10). Caesarea was a two day journey north then. We will drive to it tomorrow on our way to the Galilee.
Here are a few pictures from our day. (Including an outdoor wedding we observed in Joppa)