I remember in the 2008 election when Barack Obama conducted his world tour as part of his presidential campaign, he visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
You may remember that he inserted a prayer in the wall. The Jews consider this a sacred act—even if the individual represents another faith.
(Photo: Paul J. Richards / AFP – Getty Images)
After Obama left the Western Wall Plaza, someone scrabbled out the prayer—written on King David Hotel stationary—and took a picture of it.
Here’s what Obama’s prayer said:
Where there is water in Israel, there is life.
And where there isn’t water? The rule in antiquity was simple. Dig a cistern.
While excavating a first-century drainage channel and street that led from the City of David to the Temple Mount, archaeologists recently found a massive water reservoir dating from the First Temple period. The discovery of the reservoir, just west of the Temple Mount, gives silent testimony to the importance of water in the spiritual lives of God’s people.
The Jewish holidays, Shemini Atzeret—and Simchat Torah—offer a fascinating connection to this ancient cistern.
More importantly, they reveal a truth we live by every day of our lives.
Everybody faces temptation.
And on some level, everybody has fallen to it. Everybody but Jesus.
I have walked in the wilderness where Satan tempted Jesus.
Good grief, what a place. As far as my eye could see, it was empty, dry, and depressing. I tried to imagine the solitude and struggle Jesus would have endured for over a month. But I could not.
How did Jesus resist temptation here?