January 13, 2014 aka Israel day 4
I am glad that I have been marking a map of Israel for each spot I have visited. If it is jumbled and jarbled after a day, I can only imagine how scrambled I will be after a few years. I guess that just means I will have to come back in 10 years with Britany.
This morning started off with a boat ride from the hotel (which is in the area thought to be the Geresenes… heard of that?) over to Capernaum. The boat ride was quite pleasant though very foggy. On the ride we had a time of singing and dancing to Jewish music. It was very fun. Not biblical, but still fun none-the-less.
Afterward docking we spent a little bit of time in a gift shop/ museum where a boat from the time of Christ was stored. Oddly enough we did not see it, but we did see how expensive souvenirs can be.
Oh, and on that thought, don’t be offended if I do not bring you back a souvenir. They are dang expensive!
Anyhow, after docking we went up Mt Arbel. Look up this site. There is a fascinating history of warfare on that mountain—spanning form zealots and Herodians to Crusaders and beyond. But I hardly got to hear any of the history…
I had a great time hike/ climbing the face of Mt. Arbel, but not just because of the beautiful terrain, but mostly because of the conversations. For the first little bit of the hike I had the fortune of talking about Jonathan Edwards’ missiology (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theologian) ), then I had a great discussion about vision, leadership, and church positions with a man who recently finished his work for his Doctorate of Ministry. Then to round out that time, after the Crusader fortress I had a discussion with a practicing counselor about her profession.
Those are conversations that are invaluable!
After we finished our ascent we looked over the Sea of Galilee and read about Christ and how he spent times of solitude. We know that this was likely not the place mentioned in the Mark 1 passage, but it was a blessing to sit and meditate upon Scripture and God’s goodness on top of that mount.
It was during that time of prayer that I read Psalm 138 (which means I have 138 days until I get married!), and verse 6 really stood out.
“Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;
though lofty, he sees them from afar.”
It was such a fantastic thought to have while sitting on top of a mountain.
We also visited Capernaum, which is where we know Christ walked and performed miracles. On that site there are also the remains of Peter’s house. This may seem far-fetched to claim, but the archaeology says that this is very likely to be the place. We cannot give a 100% guarantee, but we can be pretty confident. So, that was fairly mind blowing.
But one of the neatest parts of the day was to see Dr. Jonathan Greer in his element discussing Bethsaida. What we have is a site where Geshur once stood (2 Sam 13!), and after it was destroyed during 700’s BCE there were no cities upon it for about 500 yrs. Then, during the 8th century CE it was destroyed yet another time.
What an odd coincidence…
Anyhow, it was great to see Dr. Greer in action discussing dietary habits, cross city examination, and possible Ba’al worship at this site. He had read about it many times about this site, but had not had the chance to visit it until today!
His enthusiasm was contagious. And I look forward to hearing him discuss Tel Dan. Just for fun, here is a link to an article by him (http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/biblical-archaeology-sites/did-the-northern-kingdom-of-israel-practice-customary-ancient-israelite-religion/comment-page-1/ )
Btw, he has a beard now too. It makes him even better.
That is all for now,
P.S. Dr. Greer and his wife are excited for Brittany and I J They also had a short dating and engagement time.