This is our purpose on earth
This morning we left the Sea of Galilee, leaving after a short reading of the scriptures from Mr. Schenck. We were all sort of sad to leave, because Galilee is a beautiful place, and seeing the sun set over the sea was one of the most stunning scenes I have ever seen.
So then we headed out on the bus, and drove to Mount Precipice, where we read the story of how after Jesus had read to the People of Nazareth and accused them not following God's commands and declaring to them that they would be judged at God's Judgement whereas the Gentiles who repented would be saved, he was driven out of the town, and was pushed to the edge of a cliff, perhaps the very cliff we sat on. But as it was not his time he walked through the furious crowd and he went to Capernaum, without a hand to stop him.
Jesus made Capernaum his home during the years of his ministry: “Leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum” (Matt 4:13).
Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen living in the village. Matthew the tax collector also dwelt here.
Capernaum is one of the three cities cursed by Jesus for its lack of faith.
Then we packed up and drove to Zippori, a Roman city that holds Galilee's "Mona Lisa", a Mosaic within the town. This is the likely place where Joseph and Jesus worked as it was the largest city in the area and the center of commerce and wealth.
Following Zippori, we climbed in the bus and drove to our big hike of the day, at Mt. Carmel. This hike was the hardest hike that we have had this trip, as it was long super uphill and the hottest it has been this entire trip. Luckily though Mr. Scenck spread out the hike by stopping three times to read narrative of Elijah for Mt. Carmel. We started with how Elijah was fed by the birds during the drought of Israel just as the Israelites were fed Manna. After this. Elijah went up help a widow, and after being taken in by her, her son died and Elijah prayed to God and he was brought back to life. The most important part of the narrative though came when Elijah challenged the Prophets of Baal to a test to see who had power in Israel, Yahweh, or Baal. The prophets of Baal went first and danced about, cut themselves, and sang yet their sacrifice did not light. Then Elijah built his altar, and despite the drought he poured jug upon jug of water upon the altar to the point that the trenches over flowed. Then he prayed to God and to laburnum it with Heaven's fire so that Israel and the world may know that Yahweh is God. Then Bamm!!! A torrent of fire comes down and engulfs the sacrifice. And the people of Israel chant "The Lord, he is God." This is our purpose on earth to let the world know that Yahweh is God.
Biblically, Mt. Carmel is referenced most often as a symbol of beauty and fertility. To be given the “splendor of Carmel” was to be blessed indeed (Isa 35:2). Solomon praised his beloved: “your head crowns you like Mount Carmel” (Song 7:5). But for Carmel to wither was a sign of devastating judgment (Nahum 1:4).
Following this experience, we drove to Caesarea Maritima the capstone of Herod the Great accomplishments, which though great at the time, is now nothing a but a ruin, a shadow of its former glory, and perhaps this a message that however great man's accomplishments may seem they will fall, yet God's glory is everlasting.
The city and harbor were built under Herod the Great during c. 22–10 BC near the site of a former Phoenician naval station known as Stratonos pyrgos (Στράτωνος πύργος). It later became the provincial capital of Roman Judea, Roman Syria Palaestina and Byzantine Palaestina Prima provinces. The city was populated throughout the 1st to 6th centuries CE and became an important early center of Christianity during the Byzantine period, but was mostly abandoned following the Muslim conquest of 640. It was re-fortified by the Crusaders, and finally slighted by the Mamluks in 1265.
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