Although many might disagree, it’s just a wall. God does not live in the wall. He does not need to open and read the prayers inscribed on tiny pieces of paper and left in small crevices. The prayers offered here at the wall won’t be answered with any greater priority. It’s just a bunch of massive stones that Herod had taken from a nearby quarry and stacked on top of each other.
But for many, these 2000+ year old stones are the closest they’ll ever get to the Holy of Holies today. You see, the ancient temple, destroyed in 70 AD, used to run east and west at the top of Mt. Moriah. The eastern porticoes were for the Gentiles. The further west you went, the holier it became, until finally one reached the Most Holy Place, which was fairly close to this foundation wall in the heart of Jerusalem.
So, did I offer a prayer at the wall? Sure! Was there something special about those few moments of one-on-one communication with the One True God? Absolutely! But it’s not about the stone! And I know that those who pray here regularly understand that.
It’s awesome to get to pray here. It’s not about the stone, it is about who is your sure foundation?! What is the bedrock of truth in your life. Does that make sense?
On this day, many families were celebrating their son’s bar-mitzveh. The dads beamed with great pride! The sons were greatly moved at this new direction in their journeys.
There was prayer, reciting and reading Scripture, music, dancing and great joy! At first, we felt like outsiders. But this is a public celebration, and our group was included, even if just for a few minutes. Fun!
We also went up to the Mount, where the temple used to be. There’s a Muslim shrine in its place now. Part of the politics of The Land. And a good reminder that for those of us who believe, thanks to the sacrifice of the Lamb, God makes His residence in our hearts.
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? …for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV
The Southern Steps are always one of my favorite sites. We get to stand on 2000 year old stones and read Acts 2, which is the story of the day the Church was born. The people of God were celebrating Shavuot. We call it Pentecost. They were celebrating the day Moses brought the Law of God down from the mountain. And God chose that very day to release His Holy Spirit for us all!
So many amazing sites and stories in this Land!
I’m here in Israel preparing for a Biblical Study Tour in October. I would love to have you join me in The Land! For more information go to gtitours.org/trip/ronald19.