We visited the Old City of Jerusalem on the 8th of January 2015 and had a good time despite freezing conditions and steady rain. We did a walk on the city walls, and were the only tourists to brave the conditions! We thought we would take the opportunity to pray and worship on the Walls of the City – but found it consistently hard to praise the Lord in that location. I later described this experience to a local believer, and she confirmed that they often sense an ‘oppression’ of the enemy in their services in Jerusalem and battle it through praise and worship.
We descended from the City Walls next to the Western Wall, and here we found a markedly different atmosphere. Mum was rejoicing and practically dancing at the Western Wall (to bemused glances from the locals).
From the Western Wall, we rushed to join our booked tour of the ‘Western Wall Tunnels’. This was a very interesting and enriching experience – with excellent explanations by the guide using 3d maps and models to explain how successive layers of the city had been built upon each other thus developing a 17 meter deep archaeological underground puzzle which is still being excavated and pieced together.
We finished the tour of the tunnels at about 7pm and by then it was dark and most shops were closed. We could have exited the Old City at the nearby Damascus Gate, but we were feeling uneasy about some murky characters hanging around and decided instead to exit via the Jaffa gate further away from the Muslim area. We decided to get out as quickly as we could.
When we exited we noticed a number of police and emergency cars gathering nearby. We thought nothing more of it, until we watched the news that night and discovered that a 15 year old Palestinian had stabbed a young orthodox man with a screwdriver at about 7pm at the Damascus gate! This was the reason we saw all the police and if we had taken the wrong turn earlier we would have been there at that exact time! Praise the Lord for protection, and also that the Jewish man is recovering well after the attack and after surgery.
Snow is very rare in Jerusalem, but fell on the day before and the day after our visit to the Old City. We were alerted to this interesting scripture in Job 38:22-23 as it relates to snow in Jerusalem. It is interesting that it snowed last year before the Gaza war and is snowing again now.
Here is the verse:
Have you entered the storehouse of the snow, or seen the armory of the hail, which I reserve for the time of trouble, for the day of war and battle?
We have come to Israel for the purpose of praying for the nation – and this prophetic warning of war and trouble gave a renewed sense of purpose to our prayers and our visit.