The Enduring Word of God
The LORD spoke to Moses… (Bemidbar / Numbers 9:1).
I just got back from my first visit to Israel. I was part of a special initiative called The Journey of Hope, which was a group of over 500 Canadian followers of Yeshua repenting for Canada's role in keeping Jewish people out of Canada during World War II.
We also visited many biblical sites, including the spring of Harod where Gideon's army was selected, the house of Abinadab from where King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the place where Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and the field in Bethlehem where the angels appeared to the shepherds announcing the coming of the Messiah.
Surprisingly one of the most meaningful sites was not a biblical one - at least not in the usual sense. We visited it on our last day and had very little time to spend there. Actually I raced through it with one of my children. Yet I had a sense of the great importance of that place. It was the Shrine of the Book (http://www.imj.org.il/shrine/).
The Shrine of the Book is a part of the Israel Museum dedicated to the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found by chance by Bedouins in 1947. Among the scrolls were ancient copies of biblical texts. My understanding is that up until that time the most recent copies of the Hebrew Scriptures were from about the 10th century. Some of the Dead Sea scrolls date back to the third century before the coming of the Messiah.
The Dead Sea Scrolls help to establish the accuracy of the Hebrew Scriptures by showing how few changes occurred during the manual copying of the text through the centuries. When I came to know Yeshua over 20 years ago, the story of the Scrolls impacted me greatly. I had assumed that there was no way that we could trust the accuracy of the Bible as we have it today. "Certainly it must have changed through time", I asserted.
The Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrate that in the midst of so much change throughout the centuries God's Word was preserved. And how important that is!
When you tour the Land of Israel, the guides tell you that it is very difficult to confidently assert the accuracy of the location of biblical events. But it is the events themselves, represented by the locations that really count. And how do we know about the events? They have been documented in the Bible.
When you visit the sites, all you see are fields, ruins and shrines, but the Bible continues to make the events that happened there come alive. The Bible draws us into the reality of what happened. The Bible enables us to experience today what happened long ago and calls us to look to God to do those things again wherever we may live.
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