Quamran cave number four, the site where in 1948 a little Bedouin shepherd boy was looking for his goat and discovered the first two earthen jars containing the Dead Sea Scrolls. As our tour bus stopped to take this photograph of the Quamran caves on March 17, 2000, our Israeli tour guide, Micah, told us that Bedouins never go in caves, even to rescue a goat, but because it was a young boy, he didn't know any better, and didn't want to go home to his father with one less goat.
From "Meeting God in Holy Places," by F. LaGard Smith, "Maybe it's time I joined the young Bedouin shepherd boy and climbed to a higher plane...by God's grace, it won't be ancient scrolls in earthen jars, but the Living Word in a purer heart."
We arrived at the Dead Sea about 1 p.m. and sat down in the shade by the shore with our box lunches, reading more from the author Smith's wonderful commentary, "The thought I could not dismiss that day was that sin--all sin, whether disgusting and gross or all-too-acceptable--finds its source in an excessive attention to self. It's time to do some serious bobbing in the Dead Sea and to think long and hard about just how much our lives are wrapped up in ourselves: in our careers, in our clothes, in our houses, in our money, in all the things that keep us looking inward instead of outward. That was the very problem of Lot's wife. When she looked back from Sodom, there was still something about her life that she just couldn't let go of. Whatever it was, it turned her into a pillar of salt. No wonder Jesus told us to, "Remember Lot's wife!"
According to Jesus, the fate of Lot's wife reminds us of the lesson, "Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it."