The problem with studying the geography of Israel is that it can quickly become divorced from the life-changing truths of Scripture. After all, how do hills and valleys help you grow closer to God?

Wayne Stiles has the answer to that in his new book, Going Places With God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible. I am often asked what is the perfect follow-up to a trip to Israel. My typical answer (“read a Bible atlas”) just got better: read and meditate on the truths of this devotional guide. What makes this book so good is that it takes “boring” details of Scripture and shows how they are profitable for life and godliness.

Here’s an example: Stiles shows how the geography of Joseph’s brothers tending their sheep brought Joseph to slavery in Egypt and ultimately Israel’s deliverance from famine. Unless you understand the geography, you won’t fully appreciate God’s sovereignty. The author draws from that just how we should relate to our sometimes bewildering circumstances. In another story, Israel has to travel all the way around Edom, and Stiles explains that in God’s plan, sometimes the long way is the best way.

I love too the way that Stiles draws beautiful word pictures. With him as guide, I picture myself one day walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee and another day watching the sunrise from the Mount of Olives. A pastor for fourteen years, Stiles is a truly gifted communicator with a knowledge of where people are hurting today. One devotional will encourage you to increase your
trust in the all-powerful God, and another devotional will challenge you to take heed lest you fall.

Familiar lessons some, but brought to life from places in the Bible that you would never otherwise look.

I love the geographical nuggets contained in this book, but the reason that I am recommending it is this: Going Places With God will challenge you to live a radical, Christ-centered life. The book came
out a week ago: I encourage you to buy it, read it, and buy a couple for friends.

You can see more about the book and its author at this website. The book lists for $15, but Amazon has it for $10.

[Update: The free copies have all been claimed.]


From a notice received today from the City of David visitor’s center:

Here are some very important updates for all travel agents, tour guides and trip organizers.

City of David Presentation – from 1.01.07, there will be a charge of NIS 5 per person for entry to the new 3-D presentation at the City of David. You can book a presentation together with a visit to the City of David, for preset times (only by making a definite booking, approved by the booking system). Due to the high demand, cancellation fees will be according to the price of the presentation itself (NIS 5), and the cancellation fees will be charged for any cancellation made within one week of the visit.

Set daily guided tours  – please note – we offer daily tours accompanied by a guard (registration in advance, available to individuals). There is a set tour in Hebrew, and a set tour in English, starting daily at 10 a.m. (duration of guided tour about 3 hours).

The Shiloah Pool (Pool of Siloam) and Herodian Street – as of 1.01.07, this  site (from the Second Temple era) will become a closed site of the Nature and Parks Authority. All visitors to the City of David will, of course, continue to enjoy this impressive site. The ticket to the City of David will continue to include entry to the Shiloah Pool. Visitors who only want to visit the Shiloah Pool will be able to purchase a ticket at the entrance to the pool, at the foot of the City of David, near the Kidron ravine. Entry fee to the Shiloah Pool and Herodian Street will be NIS 6 per person.

The City of David “Segway” – special trips in an up-to-the-minute, ingeniously designed two-wheeled vehicle. The tour lasts about an hour and a half, along the Armon HaNatziv (Commissioner’s Palace) pr omenades – the eastern Goldman Promenade, the Sherover Promenade, and the Haas Promenade. An impressive and scenic tour, accompanied by an official tour guide, with breathtaking views and an “action” ride in the state-of-the-art vehicle. NIS 150 per person for the trip!

Temporary closure of the Shiloah Tunnel (Hezekiah’s Tunnel) for routine
maintenance – between 14.01.07 and 28.01.07, the Shiloah Tunnel will be closed for two weeks for ongoing maintenance work and restoration of the plaster on the floor of the tunnel.

We will be happy to help you with any clarifications and inquiries –

City of David Booking Center – *6033

At your service


Shahar Shilo

Marketing director, City of David