15 Mar Back from Israel! (Part 3)
….(Israeli trip continued)….
Sea of Galilee, the view from Capernaum =) Jesus saw this regularly…crazy.
Gideon Springs (Judges 6,7.. Where Gideon put out the fleece (6:36) to be confident God was calling him to battle and defeat the Midianites. This was the spring (7:4) that by how Gideon’s men drank the water, God would and did direct Gideon to the 300 men that would go to battle with him). The army went from 32,000 men to 300 men after a series of events God did to help Gideon choose the men.
Golan Heights by Kunietra, in Syria. 1967’s 6 Day War. The dogleg road in distance (click picture to enlarge..looks like a saddle on the ground, behind the group of trees ) was designed to stop/slow the 100 tanks from getting in…Israel had only 3 tanks and defeated them!! As the opposing tanks could only come in one at a time because of the road’s curve, they would approach the gate slowly which allowed Israel enough time to blow them up one at a time! 3 tanks vs. 100 tanks. When God is planning, numbers don’t matter!
below is the artist impression of how the sanctuary of Pan looked here.
Cesarea Philippi (Pan–Banias..see pics below) MATTHEW 16:13
Where Jesus told Peter “on this rock (in other words, ABOVE/GREATER/HIGHER than this rock..) I will build my church” found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke –Where Jesus asks Peter, “Who do people say I am?”
This place (Cesarea Philippi) was intense and crazy to see…The way of sacrifice made at this place, makes my stomach turn.
Off to Tel Dan..(Judges 18)
the streams were so clean..it was so quiet and peaceful.
The sad part, however…is that no matter how far back you go in history, the human tendency to slowly allow corruption into our lives, doesn’t change. A lot of the remains we saw throughout the trip were remains of places where the people of God ran from the fact that He is the ONLY God, the ONE God (sounds familiar, eh?)..and in His place, adopted the gods of other nations. One of the major lessons I learned while in Israel was something that stuck with me after being here at Tel Dan. Almost every ancient city that has been excavated has a city wall that surrounds their land. There are a few entrances into the city, but only one main gate. Anthony, our trip leader, warned us at the beginning of our time in Israel that it is imperative that we “guard our gate” referring to the gate of our heart. As we entered into each of the ancient cities and learned of what the city gate entrances stood for back then, it was easy to understand how if only ONE person made it through the gate that should not be there, the entire city could be destroyed.
That’s all it takes. The people of Dan did not “guard their gate”, but slowly compromised one person at a time, and allowed pagan worship and sacrifice into their life. As Israelites, they ran from the authority God placed on their lives, and they gave into their fleshly desires..desires that they could see with their eyes (ex: the ladies (and men, too, of course) from the other tribes were looking pretty good!) and I don’t say all that to joke around. I am so very serious. Even the smallest bit of compromise can and will lead away from what God has for us…blessing–(which is ultimately what He likes to do for us and exactly what your heart is trying to desire, too..). SO… Are we going to allow ourselves to slowly rot with the self-absorbed culture around us, or are we willing to “guard our gate” at the highest cost? How little does the sin have to be, to constitute itself not worthy of it’s charater?
If it’s small, it’s still there, and still growing. As 1+1=2…don’t forget:
a little + a little = more and more..
(to be continued…)