Tour Journal For Hume & The Well June 16-26, 2011

Day 7 – Jezreal Valley & Caesarea

Day 7 – Jezreal Valley & Caesarea

Today was our final morning at the Sea of Galilee. It was bittersweet knowing we were leaving the land where Jesus focused the majority of his ministry, but we knew that we were headed to the Jezreal Valley (also known as the Valley of Armageddon). And we knew that this valley held great stories from the past, as well as stories yet to be told.

We began our day by heading to the top of a hill on the southern end of Nazareth, overlooking the Jezrael Valley. From this hilltop we could see summit of Mt. Tabor. Many events in the Bible occurred at the foot of this mountain. One of them being the battle between the Israelites, led by the judge Deborah, and the Canaanites in Judges 4. The mountain is also suspected to be the sight of The Transfiguration in Matthew 17.

Next we moved on Tel Megiddo, which also overlooked the Jezrael Valley. The city, Megiddo, was one of the most fortified cities of ancient times. This is because it was located near the intersection of two major crossroads, as well as being on the front of the most active battlefield in the entire world. This would include the battles involving Gideon in Judges 7, Saul and the Philistines at the end of 1 Samuel, and Josiah and the Egyptians in 2 Kings 23. However, one of these battles has yet to take place… doesn’t the name “Armageddon” sound familiar? Yeah, we were sitting on the mountainside where the final battle in Rev 19 is going to take place. No big deal. And we know for a fact that there’s a great covered seating area overlooking the battlefield, if you happen to be in the area at the time.

We then moved to a third mountain, actually a mountain range, overlooking the Valley of Armageddon, which is referred to as Carmel. In Hebrew, Carmel means “God’s Vineyard.” And the lush area stayed true to its name, having many trees and being green year round. The showdown between Elijah and God versus the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 took place here. Basically, God put the prophets of Baal to shame through Elijah. Through this story we learned that you cannot serve God and something else. These prophets of Baal worshiped God, but they served both God and Baal… Our God is a jealous God. Jealous for our affection. He desires our whole heart, not part of it. You can only be on one side of the fence, or we say in Hebrew… “you can only dance at one wedding.”

We then traveled to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the port city of Caesarea. This city, built by Herod the Great, was the third largest man made port in the entire world at its time and the largest city in Israel. The Roman theater was still remarkably intact and is still an active entertainment sight today. Our Jewish tour guide, Ronan, had recently seen Deep Purple in concert there and offered an acapella version of “Smoke on the Water.” The city was an engineering masterpiece. This place was incredible. The palace was built on a manmade peninsula sticking out into the ocean. And we sat in a Hippodrome right on the beach. The city was finished right before Jesus was born. Peter visited the Roman centurion Cornelius here in Acts 10. Paul spent two years here in Acts 23-26. And Luke could have possibly wrote his gospel while staying here.

It just blows my mind how many Biblical stories happened in the places we’ve visited. God has definitely blessed us by allowing us to go on this journey through Israel. Well, we just entered Jerusalem, so it’s time to close the laptop. We didn’t have time to proofread this. So… There ya go.

Marcus Allen and Adam Claes

Audio from this day:

Photos from this day:

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