Reflections of God's Holy Land: a personal journey through Israel was very much a treat to receive & review.
The cover sleeve on this book is vividly colored with intriguing photos and it’s a nice size, comparable to that of a coffee table style book. The inside is filled with glossy pages; you immediately desire to flip through wildly, your eyes wandering from every photo to its caption. This book takes you on a journey through God’s Holy land and there is much to see and experience. You soon discover the background of the two writers and what perspective they contribute to the project.
Miriam Feinberg Vamosh is a Jew who shares her vast knowledge of Israel’s landscape, history and archaeology along the way as the tour guide and interpreter. Her “Did you know?” sections offer a wonderful physical and historical impression of each sacred destination along the way.
Eva Marie Everson, a Christian, is a Bible scholar, novelist and teacher who had always yearned to see the Holy Land. She shares her own personal “Reflections” on the emotional and spiritual aspects that are invoked along the journey as she soon begins to experience how the bible stories she has studied and taught are now dimensional and tangible. She sees for herself, the impressions the events of the Bible have had on the region.
Each of the biblical sites are paired with corresponding scriptures and fantastic photographs that allow us to glean a greater sense of their experiences first hand.
Of all the stops along their way, one of them in particular spoke to me the more than the others. The Jordan River. I’ve always been a country girl at heart, growing up in Missouri which has no shortage of rivers for hot summer days’ delight. I was taught to swim in the cold and swift spring fed waters of the Current River by my grandmother who also taught me about Jesus. She would tell me stories of how they used to have ‘dinner on the ground’ services on very hot (or sometimes very cold) Sunday afternoons where new believers would be baptized in the river and they would sing songs of praise and glory! Yes, I have always been drawn to the waters of rivers and the Jordan River is no exception.
Biblically speaking, baptism is a public profession of an inward decision, a symbol of how God washes the old sins away and cleanses believers with His spirit. Miriam gives us much information about the Jordan River, from where it begins as snowmelt from Mount Hermon to its final destination 100 miles away spilling its waters into the Dead Sea. Eva on the other hand tells of being ‘drawn to the water of forgiveness’, how the murky and dark waters the Jordan River offer a symbolic view of the dirty sins that are washed away inside our hearts. Her writing is eloquent and I really enjoyed reading her words of enlightenment and spiritual revelations. This book was a very nice addition to my library and I will enjoy it over and over again as I will most likely not be able to travel the Holy Land myself any time soon.