Stepping Through Time
10.15.10 | | Comments
I woke up early Friday morning with a sense of wonder and anticipation. Grabbing my Bible, I decided to take a walk down the short path to get my first view of the Sea of Galilee. What better place to do my morning devotions? In the quiet, I read Scripture. I feasted. My mind was fed on God's Word, and my eyes feasted on the clear, sparkling water. I imagined a time two thousand years ago when Jesus would have walked these same shores and seen what I was looking at.
Breakfast and we're off for our first full day of sight-seeing. On this day we would start in the Old Testament, travel through the New and end the day at a site from Israel's recent history.
Our first stop was Tel Hazor, an ancient Canaanite city that was destroyed by Joshua in Joshua 11. We learned that archeological excavations have brought to light at least 21 civilations at this location. One built on top of the other. Next stop was Ted Dan. A city that became prominent after the time of Solomon when Israel was divided into two kingdoms. This area was lush with vegetation and we saw several mountain streams that fed into the Sea of Galilee.
After lunch we went further north to Caesarea Philippi (also known in the New Testament as Banias). Doron and Pastor Jeff explained that this city was a pagan city during the time of Christ. It was a place where sin was rampant. Under normal circumstances, a Jew would not set foot in this city. Yet it is recorded in Matthew 16 that Jesus took His disciples here. It is in Caesarea Philippi that Jesus asked them, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" and Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Our last stop of the day was the Golan Heights. We gazed across a valley and could see the borders of Syria and Jordan. You could hear the emotion in Doron's voice as he shared with us about Israel's more recent history with stories about the six-day war.
At the day's end, we had a new appreciation for this land. The place where God chose to write His story and walk on human feet. We had a new appreciation for God's chosen people and a nation that He continues to keep close to His heart.
Pictured below: The Sea of Galilee and Tel Dan