It has been so exhausting the past two days. Because I am so tired, I will briefly write what we have done the past two days. Yesterday morning we went to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It was breathtaking. Walking into the Temple Mount security was high and modesty a necessity. We stepped through the large doorways and arches into the Temple courts. However, one important thing was different. The Temple that was once a site where sacrifice was prominent for the Jewish people has become a shrine for Islam. A golden dome rises high above all else representing and name the Temple Mount as a place for the Muslims. Five times a day a call to prayer resonates throughout Jerusalem, especially on the Temple Mount. Devote Muslims will kneel and gently touch their head to the floor multiple times. This is a sign a of true devotion to Allah and Muhammad, his prophet. During our visit to the Temple Mount we had to make sure we had completed our tour by 10 am for the purpose of not disturbing the second call to prayer for the Muslims.
So we continued around the courts of the Temple Mount. In the view we could see the Dome of the Rock as well as the Aqsa Mosque in front of it. The Dome stands high and extravagant. The Aqsa Mosque is deep black in color lacking much decoration. Trees had been planted all over the courts, whereas during the 1st and 2nd Temple periods, no vegetation had been on the Temple Mount. Visitors from all around the world walk around the courts in awe of the history. But many also walk around and think of what is to come. The 3rd Temple. Jews all around the world believe the their Messiah will come and Israel will be restored. Part of that restoration includes the rebuilding of the final temple…the 3rd Temple. Peace will reign. Many Christians believe that the idea of the 3rd Temple is more spiritual then physical and literal. Honestly, I have no idea what to think. All I know is that prophetically God will restore this land and these people. His name will be known among the nations. He has more than enough power to physically rebuild a new temple. I leave it to God. In my mere human comprehension I cannot say what will happen. I can give, like others, a guess and an opinion. That is it.
After the Temple Mount, we left and ate lunch at the Mount of Olives. It was a gorgeous site to look at. We had a beautiful view of the Old City and the Temple. While we were on the Mount of Olives we did hear a call to prayer of the Muslims. That was definitely interesting to hear while looking at the Temple Mount. I contemplated the future and history of Israel- the Jews, the Christians, the Muslims- and all I could do was to think of the fact that the glory of God will be revealed when He desires.
We then left the Mount of Olives and went a few miles away where we participated in an archaeology dig. I was somewhat angry at the reason behind our dig. The Muslims years ago dug underneath the Temple Mount so they could create room for a new Mosque. In that process they destroyed thousands of years of history with bulldozers and shovels. Everything they dug up was broken and beaten. Some of it was even destroyed. To make it worse they used dump trucks to remove the piles of rubble into the Kidron Valley. That is why I was angry. The Muslims had no care at all to what they were destroying. Archaeologists finally were allowed to remove the piles of reuined history about one mile away into a field. Pile after pile, these archaeologists sift through to try to find substaintial pieces of history- pottery, coins, jewelry, etc. Our group assisted in the sifting through these piles. A few coins were found along with some buttons and arrow heads. Mosiac tiles and glass were also found. The point and purpose of this project is to reveal more about what lies beneath the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount. The dig was however exciting and intriguing. It was an incredible feeling to know that I was helping to uncover history of Israel.