En Gedi, Mount Gilboa, Hezekiah’s Tunnel

How is 2023 going? Are you keeping your head down to avoid potshots? Or are you in plain sight fighting for your life with everyone watching?

Perhaps, like me, you are going through a tunnel. You thought you would have been through it by now.

We just read about hiding in caves, battling on a mountain, and walking through a tunnel.

En Gedi

1 Samuel 23:29, “Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds of En Gedi.” New English Translation

The strongholds were caves up above the waterfall. The terrain was difficult. Only the hardiest among us climbed up to the spring. David and I walked back to the welcoming center and ate ice cream. (I had already twisted my left ankle twice!)

En Gedi is in the middle of the Judean Wilderness. I’m sure David became especially thirsty there.

Psalms 63:1, “O God, you are my God, I long for you. My soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” NET

Mount Gilboa

1 Samuel 28:8, “…Use your ritual pit to conjure up for me the one I tell you.” NET

Using a medium was a pit – a trap – knowing the future destroys today. He didn’t enjoy the day and night before the battle with his sons and men. They could have eaten around the fire recalling past victories and exploits. That would have built up their strength and courage.

Instead, he didn’t eat. He collapsed on the ground drained of energy, 1 Samuel 28:20. He sat on a bed, (v. 23), for hours while she slaughtered a calf, waited for the blood to drain, mixed up bread, waited for it to rise, she roasted the meat, baked the bread, and then they ate.

He sat on a bed worrying about the future. He was trapped.

“As you reflect on Saul’s disobedience, consider the sources of your guidance and counsel. Are those sources aligned with God and His Word? Or do they represent worldly perspectives?”

New English Translation note on 1 Samuel 28:1-7


1 Samuel 31:7, “When the men of Israel who were in the valley and across the Jordan saw that the men of Israel had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled.” NET

You could see for miles on top of Mount Gilboa. And people could see you if they knew what color you were wearing. David watched me climb to the top and saw right away when I started back down after twisting my ankle. He walked back to meet me because he knew something was wrong.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

2 Samuel 5:8, “David said on that day, ‘Whoever attacks the Jebusites must approach the “lame” and the “blind” who are David’s enemies by going through the water tunnel.'” NET

There are two tunnels in the “City of David.” David’s tunnel has running water and you need a cave light to traverse it. It was much longer. Three brave souls went through it.

Hezekiah’s tunnel was well-lit with blue accent lights at the Gihon Spring. There were dry steps and a handrail to assist you as you walk through. The rest of us went through it.

We went to Solomon’s pool and waited for the men in David’s tunnel.

Two tunnels for two purposes. David went through the first tunnel to conquer the city. It was wet, (the water was up to the waist in some places), dark, (they could only see a few feet in front of them), and long. At the end of the tunnel was a battle to take the city. (That may be like the tunnel you are in. Keep going.)

Entrance to Warren’s shaft in Hezekiah’s tunnel.

Hezekiah’s tunnel was dug out to keep a source of fresh water during a siege. It was easier because the goal was water.

The reward for the long, hard tunnel was a city! Hard tunnel = great reward.

Other Things I Noted

  1. David asked the Lord twice before he attacked the Philistines, 1 Samuel 23:2-4.
  2. Abigail was described as wise and then beautiful, 1 Samuel 25:3 and Proverbs 11:2.
  3. The Lord rewards each man for his integrity and loyalty, 1 Samuel 26:23.
  4. Look to God for protection and he will accomplish awesome, faithful deeds, Psalms 17:7.
  5. David left 200 men with the equipment when he went to fight Nabal, too, 1 Samuel 25:13 and 1 Samuel 30:10.
  6. Those who have no desire to bless anyone experience no blessings, Psalms 109:17.
  7. Ziklag burned but David moved to Hebron and was crowned king a little later, 1 Samuel 30:1-31 and 2 Samuel 2:3-4.
  8. God sent some soldiers to David every day, 1 Chronicles 12:22.

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