We began the day being awoken by another gorgeous sunrise over the Galilean hills. The rising sun reminded me of the fact that we worship on Sunday, not Saturday as they do here, because it is the day of Christ’s resurrection, the true risen son!
Our touring began at the Mount of the Beatitudes as we experienced the place where Jesus delivered his most famous teaching, the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5-7) The hill is one of two places in Israel where natural amplification would occur. A natural platform and the shape of the hill meant that Jesus’ words could be heard clearly without any need for a microphone, even with a large crowd. Amazing to see the way God designed the land to be perfect for His Son to teach us eternal truth.
After a stop in an artist colony in the Golan we proceeded to Tel Dan which is where the tribe of Dan settled after failing to conquer their original allotment. The ruins here were extensive showing the king’s seat in the gate, the false worship center that Jeroboam set up after the kingdom split (I Kings 12:28-29), and the city gate from the time when Abraham came and rescued Lot here. (Genesis 14) This was the city at the northern most part of ancient Israel as the Bible talks about when it says all Israel from Dan to Beersheba. (I Samuel 3:20) We enjoyed a beautiful walk through the national park that is set up here seeing these sights.
Then it was on to Caesarea Philippi where Peter made his great confession concerning Christ being the Son of God. (Matthew 16:13-18) The ruins included the original Roman palace built there, much of the pagan temples and even the main street of town. It was here that Jesus committed to building his church, a project that has reached through the centuries to us. To be where Jesus made this commitment and to see its continued fulfillment in us caused us to rejoice anew in our Saviour!
The day finished with a trip through the Golan Heights to see the border with both Lebanon and Syria. We learned much of the struggle Israel has with neighbours that desire to destroy the Jewish state and the great need for peace in this region. As our guide talked of growing up in a state of war, of raising her children with the intermittent need to go to bomb shelters, and of helping her daughter decide which to take first to the shelter; her baby or the diapers and formula, we were all reminded of how blessed we are to live in a country of peace and freedom. Truly we need God to keep our land glorious and free!
We arrived back at the hotel in time for another wonderful supper and then we sat around in the foyer and shared our testimonies with each other. It was a wonderful time of reflecting on God’s grace to all of us in saving us and bringing us to this blessed land.
Trust you had a blessed Sunday of worship – tomorrow in Jerusalem!
P.S. Feel free to leave a comment 🙂