We have had a full day and have also moved to a new hotel, Leonardo Hotel right on the Sea of Galilee. How cool is that!
Here are the sites we visited today:
1-Caesarea by the Mediterranean Sea. Here we saw the other palace of Herod the Great. Visiting here you realize the tremendous influence that Herod had on this region of the world during the days of Jesus. Herod was responsible for the development of multiple cities and was a brilliant man. Yes, he was a man of influence but he was also very evil.
2-Mt. Carmel. This is the location where Elijah called down fire and God burned up the altar in a competition with the false gods of Baal and Asherah.
3-Megiddo. This is the place that many people believe the great battle of Armageddon will take place in the future. See below for more thoughts about the end times…
Revelation 16:12-16 describes the battle of Armageddon, “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. . . . Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” I personally believe this will be a battle that takes place near the end of the tribulation.
4-Nazareth. This is the hometown of Jesus Christ. Today there are about 85,000 people living in Nazareth. It is fascinating to think about Jesus living every day life in this remote out of way place. I do look forward to seeing him one day!
Observations? I would say that is a sobering moment to walk around a place where you believe there will be such a horrific battle (Armageddon). As Christians we have much work to do before Jesus returns but of course it is a terrific comfort to know that King Jesus wins.
I would also say that the fact that our tour guide is Palestinian is messing with our heads quite a bit. He is a Christian but his Palestinian opinions come out frequently. In some ways I think this is good for our group. It will force us to consider other views when it comes to the history of the Middle East. I want to be open to having my world view expanded from my time in Israel.