Day 2 – was about arrival and the Ancient Words that formed this land, this people, and this trip. Ancient Words still alive and speaking to us today.
Day 3 – Ancient Israel – Stones of RemembranceDay – Everywhere in Israel you see stones – mostly this white stone Jerusalem stone. the statue carvings, the buildings, the sarcophagus, caves, everywhere are stones. One of the guides told me they had to make rules such as not stopping excavation for new buildings for everything (though they still do when they find human remains) because new discoveries are a daily occurrence.
One of the books that made a great impact in my early faith life was Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard. The main character who starts out as “Much Afraid” (and later receives the new name of Grace and Glory) has a habit of piling stones of remembrance after each victory. Each day, or more like each hour of each day in Israel we saw stones of remembrance as we also heard the corresponding scripture story and history behind each site.
Drive to Caesarea by way of the famous highway known in the Bible as the ‘Way of the Sea’. Explore the ruins of the Roman and the Crusader city, reconstructed Roman portions, walls from the times of the crusaders, the prison area where Paul was held in captivity before being sent to Rome.
We saw the remains the Hippodrome (Roman horse racing theater), remains of a Roman aqueduct, Mount Carmel, the site where the Prophet Elijah fought with the prophets of Baal and won, a breathtaking view over the whole Valley of Jezreel, better known as the Valley of Armageddon, the famous Tel Megiddo— a city that was fought over continually.
At Megiddo, we saw the remains of King Solomon’s Stables, an altar from Abrahamic times (around 4,000 years old), and the magnificent water tunnel, and across the valley viewed Mount Tabor, where Deborah and Barak met to plan their wars against the Canaanites, and the springs where Gideon selected his army and discuss why it was done in that fashion.
Then it is arrival at our hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Heading down the path (now stairs) the women took daily to scoop up water to carry back on top of their heads!
It was amazing to stand here (or near) the place of the beginning of civilization. To watch and listen to Cliff and Itai read the scriptures and realize that those words were written for all of God’s family for instruction, correction, and tender encouragement
Zech. 9:16 And the Lord their God will save them in that day
As the flock of His people;
For they are as the stones of a crown,
Sparkling in His land.