“A dry and weary land where there is no water”

The title to Psalm 63 states that it is “a Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.”

David says his soul thirsts for God; his flesh faints for God, “as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. (Psalm 63:1 ESV)

In my experience, most travelers who see the wilderness of Judah for the first time are surprised that it is a dry, barren, rugged wasteland. Perhaps our photos in this post will allow you to see the vividness of David’s illustration.

The first photo was made a few miles east of Jerusalem in the vicinity of Michmash. You can see some dry grass left over from the winter rains. David would have passed through territory like this when he fled from Jerusalem during the rebellion of his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15).

A view of the wilderness of Judah from near Michmash. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A view of the wilderness of Judah from near Michmash. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The next photo was made much further south between Arad and the southern end of the Dead Sea. It was territory more like this where David hid when he was fleeing from Saul (1 Samuel 23, et al.).

A view in the wilderness between Arad and the Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A view in the wilderness between Arad and the Dead Sea. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This is indeed a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Even where there might be some water, such as Wadi Qelt, the wilderness can be foreboding.

The wilderness of Judah with a view of Wadi Qelt visible. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The wilderness of Judah with a view of Wadi Qelt visible. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

 

3 responses to ““A dry and weary land where there is no water”

  1. Hi Ferrell,
    Very nice pictures as usual. This summer I was traversing much of the Judean territory south, east, and north east of Jerusalem within the occupied territories. I was impressed with how difficult navigating between the area south of Jerusalem and North of Jerusalem was from within the Palestinian territory. More than that I was impressed by how sharp and deep these canyons were, forming virtual protective walls for all of the highlands from the wadis below. If you could flatten them out you would more than triple the territory. I found that the Palestinian territories are full of sites of interest, many of them occupied by Israeli settlements. This became particularly apparent to me as I had rented a car from Bethlehem, that was not really welcome inside of any of these settlements, for understandable reasons. I was able however to visit Hebron, Herodium, Tekoa, Shiloh, and Mt. Gerizim and the Samaritan Museum. Do you take your tour groups into the West Bank other than to Jericho and Bethlehem?

  2. Hello Ferrell
    The wilderness in Judah post is absolutely true to life and hits you at the first go! The pictures of the dry and arid ranges near the dead sea really made me think deeply about how David must have felt travelling in this arid land.

  3. Pingback: Around the Web (9/15) | InGodsImage.com

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s