Friday, April 29, 2011

Journey to Israel - Chapter 13

Chapter 13 - Monday, 3/27/89

Today we loaded into the bus for a three day journey through the area of Galilee in the northern part of Israel. We drove through Tel Aviv, which to the world is the capital of Israel. The population there is 500,000. To the Jews, Jerusalem (population 450,000) is the capital.

From Tel Aviv we drove to Caesarea, a port Herod built on the Mediterranean Sea in honor of Caesar Augustus. It was styled after the Greek city of Athens, only larger. Herod did everything in a big way. For those of us who like to golf, it is in the Harbour of Caesarea where the only golf course in Israel is located.  We had a picnic lunch on the white sandy beach of the Mediterranean. It’s a beautiful blue-green sea.

We stopped in Megiddo and viewed the lush Jezreel valley, so fertile and green and peaceful looking. So many battles have been fought here, but there remains the big slaughterhouse of them all---the battle of Armageddon. It’s very disturbing to think that the beautiful, serene valley will be war torn and bloodied. However, we can rejoice because we know that our side wins!! Jesus will be victorious and will set up His kingdom to reign forever!!
“All hail King Jesus! All hail Emmanuel!
King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Bright Morning Star.
And throughout eternity I’ll sing His praises,
And I’ll reign with Him throughout eternity!”

Nazareth, the place where Mary the mother of Jesus was from, is a city of 50,000 people today. In the time of Mary it was a village the size of a football field with only about 200 people living there. It was a nowhere, no place, little insignificant village. It had the reputation of “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” But where does God go when He chooses to use someone or to reveal Himself? Once again He chose the humble, the seemingly insignificant. In Nazareth God found Mary, who lived in a cave-like house over which a church is now built to preserve her home, the Church of the Annunciation.

When I saw those monstrosities built over the places of significance in the life of Jesus, I couldn’t help but feel Jesus would have been much happier if men would just give Him their hearts instead of building monuments to Him. The monuments will one day be destroyed, but the heart lives on forever. Today He still desires our hearts. It isn’t so much our action as it is our attitudes. Are we humble, are we submissive, do we have a servant heart? Can His love flow through us so that HE might be seen and not we ourselves?

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