Saturday, January 19, 2013


Suggested Reading: Joshua 2

(click scripture link to read online)


St. Stephen's Gate is located on the north-east walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, leading to the Via Dolorosa. It is so named because of the tradition that the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was stoned outside this gate. However, an earlier tradition locates this execution north of the city. Like the walls of Jericho, the thickness of the walls are such that people's homes were often located right inside of them.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Joshua 2:21

Then she [Rahab] said, “According to your words, so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.

Scarlet wool is mentioned in Hebrews 9:19 (read Hebrews 9:19-22). Rahab’s scarlet cord is mentioned twice in our reading, and it pictures safety through the blood. Rahab’s name is found in the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5). This Gentile woman becomes the mother of Boaz, who is the great-grandfather of King David. God’s long-term plans are amazing.

Rahab’s house was, according to verse 15, “on the wall.” This explains how the men escaped through the window, and how, that as the Israelites marched around Jericho, they would see the scarlet cord over and over. German archaeologists excavated Jericho from 1907 to 1909 and confirmed the historical record by finding a section of the wall with houses still intact where the outside walls of several houses were formed by the wall itself. Again and again the archaeological digs confirm the historical accuracy of the Bible record.


Lord God, Your amazing grace is, well, amazing. To think You cared so much for the prostitute, Rahab. Lord Jesus, You also cared so much for the woman taken in adultery (John 8:1-11). Thank You, Great Creator, that You care for me too. I pray that I will appreciate Your care more and more every day. “God be merciful to me a sinner” is a prayer You guarantee will make me right before You (Luke 18:9-14). As Rahab said, “so be it.” Amen!


In Jericho today there is a huge sycamore tree with gigantic branches spreading out around it. They’ll tell you that this is the tree that Zacchaeus, who was short of stature, climbed in order to see Jesus. However, the tree is nowhere near 2000 years old. Some things you see in the Holy Land are not accurate historically or archaeologically. These things are, nevertheless, reminders of events that did occur.

Our daughter Ellen, now Ellen Shaheen, mother of six wonderful children and grandmother of three, studied in Israel before her marriage to Nizar, an Israeli Arab. Norma-Jean and I had not seen her for seven months when, right there in Jericho, she came running to meet us as we emerged from our tour bus. It was a joyous reunion. I’ll never forget the excitement I felt. It was in Jericho that on one occasion Jesus healed one blind man and on another two blind men. I can only imagine the excitement in Jericho then. I feel sad when I pass by Jericho these days on our tours, because it is in the Palestinian Territory now and the walls (figuratively and in some places literally) are up again. I pray fervently for lasting peace in that region.

Yours for the “scarlet cord” of redemption through the Blood of Christ which reaches around the world with salvation,


P.S. My son Ron and his wife, Ann, are scheduled to lead a tour of the Holy Land this November, and Norma-Jean and I expect to join them, God willing. We invite all my blog partners to join us. Be thinking and praying about it, and we will have detailed information online at in the near future. I’m attaching a video message from Ron on the subject of “Overcoming Fear.” As I thought about yesterday’s and today’s blogs, and the challenge the Children of Israel faced, it occurred to me that all of us could use this message (click here).

Here you can see that the ancient wooden door of St. Stephen's Gate has been covered with metal from top to bottom for greater protection.

13 thoughts on “Saturday, January 19, 2013

  1. Another great message this morning as I travel north and possibly face some snow on the roads. I pray for those paralized by fear, that they open their hearts and minds to Gods wisdom and love, and make decisions that alter their lives in wonderful ways. Amen!

  2. Yes it is a great message I give you this Scripture ” So Do not fear for I am with you ; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strenthen you and help you’ I will uphold you with my righteous right hand;” Isaiah 41: 40

    David I will pray for Gods protection for you and your family on your way and on your way home.
    Lianne Hogg

    • Thank you, Lianne and others. There were many times I thanked Our Lord for prayers, including close calls and a flat tire! I remembered David saying be strong and of good courage. It helped me all the way!

  3. Thankyou Lianne, for quoting Isa41:10, many times God is saying “do not fear” in His Word. I like the picture of Christ in Joshua 2. Thankyou David so much for this blog!

  4. The photos of St. Stephen’s Gate and the ancient door are amazing. It would be incredible to witness, in person.

    “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
    Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God

  5. “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with
    God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you, too, are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

    Ephesians 2:14-22 (NIV)

  6. your producing this blog daily is a wonderful uplift and blessing!!! I am so very thankful for the ministry The LORD has raised up in you and your family and so many other co-laborors who are faithful…..

  7. Thank you again – your blogs and pictures are such a blessing. Regarding fear which can cripple my faith in God – when I’m overwhelmed with fear, I turn to God’s promises and repeat them until I have His peace – “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind” :1 Timothy 1:7″ also “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear”. 1 John 3:18. I’m so thankful to God for His love and mercy

  8. Thank-you Ron for your talk on fear. Fear is a crippling reality in life for many. When fear gets in the way of relatively normal everyday living it can hinder one’s life, preventing them from doing what most can do with ease. When this happens, darkness overtakes, hope is lost, failure is inevitable.

    If I can speak from personal experience for a moment, the above statement describes much of my life for many years. When I was a teenager panic-attacks began and limited what I could do. Frequent washroom breaks from the high school classroom gave relief from extreme anxiety, I still remember splashing water on my face to cool down. Elevators, Escalators, heights, bridges etc. were avoided. I avoided places like church and the movie theater like it was a plague, the anxiety and panic feelings made the experience intolerable. Self-imposed limits were set, and did not change for years. Jesus set me free from much of this, praise the Lord! However there is still some residual of fear that remains to this day….unfortunately much of this fear has been learned and the feelings associated are difficult to un-learn. Church, theaters, elevators etc. are not a problem now. I would one day love to travel, to be able to get on a plane like most and visit places like the Holy land, but for me, for now, it’s only a dream. So, even though I may look like I have much of my act together … there are fears which still remain; I guess I’m a work in progress. I pray that one day Jesus will heal all of such fears, if you suffer from fear practice faith, for faith is the best antidote to fear that I know of in this life. If you had known me for the way I was 30 years ago to where I am today, you would never ever expect that I lived with such crippling anxieties. Jesus, day by day, is making me whole through His grace. Thank-you Jesus!

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