ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –MO- 22 November 2010
Another beautiful touring day, which was, low 50’s this morning and rising into the high 70’s by the end of the day. Our drive back to Maagan was under a gorgeous whole moon. The moon glow fell beautifully on the Sea of Galilee as we wound down the Poriya descent to the sea. The road is a very winding road from which you can see the entire Sea of Galilee. But I’m starting at the end and we need to go back to the beginning of our day.
Our day began at Aroma Coffee at the Sea of Galilee junction at the south end of the sea. Amazingly they served all of us in about 15 minutes and we were back on the bus and headed for Bet Shean. The drive down the Jordan was informative. We discussed a multiplicity of issues and geography. The rain hasn’t started yet so everything looked dead. The first big rain will transform the area to a beautiful flowered paradise.
Bet Shean is the premier Roman site in Israel. They have a carefully recreated Cardo, bathhouse, theater, latrine and shopping mall. We traversed the site front to back and side to side. Jim Ennis led our devotional in the theater. Brooke Newsom sang.
Bet Alpha located in Heftziba at the foot of Mt. Gilboa was our next stop. They have a great video about the development of a mosaic floor in this early 6th century synagogue. It was rediscovered in 1928 by Israeli pioneers. The mosaic floor shows a significant synergy with the gentiles that lived in that area.
Our next stop was Ein Harod the Spring of Gideon that is mentioned in Judges 7. The water was low because the rainy season hasn’t begun. The park that surrounds the spring is excellent for picnics and family events. Rick Funderburk led our devotional and Brooke Newsom sang. Several folks knelt down and practiced bringing the water up in their hands to drink. Gideon whittled down his fighting force to just 300 men. The Lord said they would have to give the glory to Him when they defeated the Midianites and they did beat them. The victory belonged to the Lord.
We had lunch at Mizra Kibbutz and then on to Megiddo. This is a premier site in Israel and we could really spend all day there. We traversed the tel and especially noted the Solomon steps, the Ahab gate, the Solomon gate, the granary, the stables and the water system. This is an excellent site that has over twenty-five different layers of towns. Megiddo was fought over by every group that lived in this region for more than two thousand years. Its location is in the middle of the Jezreel Valley.
We turned back towards Maagan but had one more stop for the day on the way. The Nazareth Overlook affords an excellent view of Nazareth and Mt. Tabor and the Jezreel. Carl Scroggs led our devotional. It was cold and windy on the mountain top. We looked, listened and then returned to the bus for our trip back to Maagan on the Sea of Galilee. The moon glow accompanied us back down to the Sea.
Dr. Dukes led in Bible Study continuing our study in Encountering Jesus in the Gospel of John. Jim Parker began our day with a devotional on the sea shore. It was another great touring day. I think we are all tired. We covered a lot of ground and history today. Tomorrow we set our face for Jerusalem. Tomorrow night we will be in Jerusalem.