Being in the land of the Bible is so wonderful, exhilarating, inspiring etc but it is so dang hard to capture a wee small bit of it through mere words and pictures! We have long days filled with pointing out significant places that you have read about all your life, explanations, reading of passages from the Bible. We are usually heading out on the busy 6:30 am and get home around 6:30 pm. How do I give you even a taste. A glorious and meaningful view on the ground just doesn’t look the same in a photo taken on my iPhone.
This is Dr. Paul Weight with me, come to see us off in our trip to Galilee. Yesterday we left Jerusalem and drove north up the Jordan valley which is a part of the Rift Vally that extends all the way to the Dead Sea and on into Africa. We passed through the region where Gideon rallied the Israelites against the Midianites. We sat overlooking the Jezreel Valley and saw the place where Saul faced the Philistines, and the village of Endor where Saul then went to consult a witch. Saul and and his sons died in battle the next day and we saw where the Philistines dishonor end their bodies, and looked east across the Jordan River to the village of Jabesh Gilead whose inhabitants came and took the bodies back to Jabesh Gilead and honored them with a proper burial.
We went to Beth Shean, a Graeco-Roman city renamed Scythopolis, right on the edge of Galilee, Or Israelite territory. Lots of the activities and buildings seemed to be propaganda for Roman Graeco-Roman culture worldview as opposed to the faith of the Israelites.
We saw the vicinity where Jehu kills both the king of Israel and the king of Judah (2 Kings 9).
We say on the slopes of Megiddo which has something like 25 levels of occupation and destruction because it occupies such a crucial location at the head of a strategic pass. It was fortified and occupied by numerous armies marching through the Jezreel valley, . . . And across the valley on the opposite ridge is Nazareth. Young kids growing up in Nazareth, like Jesus, would have had a birds eye view of foreign exotic caravans and armies traveling from Assyria, Babylon, Greece, Persia, Rgypt, and of course Rome.
This last picture was taken from Mt. Precipice, the spot where his hometown was going to throw him off the cliff because he dared to say that God’s mission and message was for all people, Jews AND Gentiles!
We went up Mount Carmel where Elijah did battle with the prophets of Baal. My Carmel is the highest point in Israel with a commanding view of the land and of the Mediterranean.
This was one of the last great demonstrations of God’s sovereign power . . Until he visited a young girl in Nazareth with an audacious message!
We were able to identify Mt. Tabor (Elisha raised a child on the south side of the mountain in the village of Shunem, and Jesus raised a child just in the north side in the village of Nain), Mt. Moreh, Mt. Gilboa, all bordering the Jezreel valley and all figure prominently in the biblical narrative.
And we ended our day on the western shore if Lake Galilee!