When I think about the Judean Wilderness or Desert, I think of a desert with sand. This desert is nothing like I imagined. Rocky rolling hills with a scattering of life here and there. There are what look like dried up river beds, called Wadis, and they are for the most part very dry but when it rains, watch out. They become rushing rivers and can sweep you away if not careful.
Judea is located in the southern area of Israel and includes: West of the Jordan River, Jerusalem, Jericho, Qumran, to the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and other locations. Jesus had some of the most significant events in His life occurred in this area. John the Baptist lived in this area and the Jordan River is where Jesus was baptized. In Jericho, Jesus asked Zacchaeus to come out of the tree so He could have lunch with him. This is the very same area that Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan.
Qumran is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a little cave near a Wadi. Ein Gedi is a beautiful oasis in the desert with waterfalls, streams and caves. The very caves where David found refuge from King Saul. There is an active monastery, Mar Saba Monastery, which can be viewed from the road “the valley of the shadow of death.”
Truthfully there isn’t a place in Israel that I have been that I haven’t walked away going “Wow.”
~ Gale Simcox