Israel Trip – 2
Lift up your heads, O gates
and be lifted up, O ancient doors
that the King of glory may come in.
We began the day at the ancient port city of Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean Sea. We visited ruins of an amphitheater, hippodrome (horse and chariot racing stadium), aqueduct, harbor, and the city gates. These gates mark the entrance to the city during the crusades. Caesarea was the home of the Roman Centurion Cornelius’s vision in Acts 10, Paul’s imprisonment in Acts 26, and persecuted Christians in the early churches.
We then traveled to the top of Mt. Carmel. Overlooking the Northwest edge of the Jezreel Valley, the spot commemorates Elijah’s famous contest with the prophets of Ba’al in 1 Kings 17. Elijah confronted King Ahab and Queen Jezebel through the power of God and began an important revolution in Israel– worship of one true God.
After lunch in a Druse village, we visited the excavations at Megiddo. Located on the southeastern end of the Jezreel valley, Megiddo remains a popular site. Here several centuries of Israelite and Jewish history can be told. From Deborah’s conquest in Judges 4, to Solomon’s stables in 1 Kings 9, to Josiah’s reforms in 2 Kings 23:29. Megiddo is also the famous site of the last gathering of the nations to battle in Revelation 16. We entered through two different sets of gates into the city, looked over the Jezreel valley, saw the ruins of the stables and feeding trough (mangers), and descended into the watershaft that provided water to the city without risk of outside invasion.
We concluded our day by visiting the site of Jesus’ first sign or miracle in the Gospel of John, the village of Cana.
Many of the biblical characters in these places share something in common. Even though we visited sites associated with Old and New Testaments, we discovered that each person boldly proclaimed their faith in God. Paul testified to Agrippa. Elijah stood alone in the face of opposition. At Megiddo, Josiah attempted to reform ancient Judaism and died in the process. Jesus showed the people of Cana who God is. By worshiping and trusting Him, they were following God. Each one knew the Lord as the King of Glory. We can say with the psalmist today:
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle.