One of my favorite pastimes is hiking. I don't get to do it as much as I would like, but when I get the chance, I really enjoy it. Hiking allows you to get away from everything, do some thinking, and experience the land.  Most of the hiking that I have done has been in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While I am far from being an expert, I have hiked enough in the areas of Blount and Sevier counties of Tennessee that I can easily recognize most mountain tops, valleys and land formations that can be seen from any trail in that area. While you are hiking in the Smokies, it is not uncommon to come across and old stone fence.  This fence was built years ago and would have represented the boundary line for someone's property. Nearby, you may also spot a stone fireplace and chimney. The wooden cabin infrastructure has long deteriorated, but the chimney remains. All of those items remind you of the history of the land. It wasn't always a government-controlled national park. This was once someone's home. They raised children there. They planted crops nearby. They would have parties in which neighbors would come over and enjoy each other's company. It makes you wish you knew more about the people that were there.

In the Bible, we have a wonderful historical accounts of the people that lived in the lands of the Bible. We know a lot about what they did and how they lived. But, we may not understand a lot about the land. Like hiking in the Smokies, you learn so much more as you go out and walk the land.

Last year, a friend of mine by the name of Larry Haverstock walked what is commonly called "The Jesus Trail", which goes from Nazareth to the northern edge of the Sea of Galilee. This path would be very similar to the path that the disciples would have walked many years ago. He wrote about his experience in his blog, which I encourage you to read.

About six months ago, I came across a book called "Walk The Land", which I also encourage you to read. It was written by Judith Pex. Judith and her husband live in Eliat, Israel and spent some time a few years ago walking the Israel National Trail from Eliat to Dan. It is a very quick read, and very enjoyable.

Both of these accounts help you to understand the land of Israel. Understanding the land will help you understand the Biblical stories even more.