Israel Study Tour - The Forge (Pine Cove)

Mar 10-22, 2019

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Fear and Faith

Shalom!!

Today was day seven! It’s hard to believe that we have been exploring the Holy Land for a week now! Time is flying faster than we would like it to, but thankfully God is making each and every day so purposeful!

Our leaders did an incredible job preparing the lessons for this trip! One of my favorite parts of the trip has been discovering the themes that are woven into each passage of scripture that we study. A theme that stood out to me today was fear.

We started the day off with a beautiful boat ride on the Sea of Galilee! During the boat ride Jared did a lesson on Mark 4:35-41. In this passage, a great windstorm arises when Jesus and his disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee. The disciples become afraid when the waves begin to break into the boat, so they wake Jesus who is sleeping and ask, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus awakes and rebukes the wind and calms the sea. He then asks his disciples “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” Upon witnessing the power that Jesus has, the disciples are filled with even greater fear.

In our lesson, we learned that our fear tests us. Our fear ultimately shows us what we put our faith in. In the beginning of the passage the disciples were afraid of the storm; they were afraid of dying. Maybe they were afraid because they were putting their faith in safety, or in their ability to control the circumstances of their lives. At the end of the passage, they are no longer afraid of the storm, but are afraid of Jesus. In verse 41 they ask one another, “Who then is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?” When Jesus rebuked the wind and calmed the sea, he rightly oriented the fear of the disciples. He ensured that fear was given to the object that rightly deserved it: Himself.

If the faith of the disciples was in Jesus, they wouldn’t have been afraid of the storm. They would have trusted him to take care of them and save them from destruction. If their fear(or reverence) was rightly oriented, they would have known that the sea was no match for their savior.

Throughout the day we visited more sites including Tel Jezreel, the Spring of Herod, Beth She’an and Susita Hippos. At Susita Hippos, Jared brought us back to the topic of fear. He asked us questions including “What torments you? and What keeps you from running up to Jesus?”

Susita

Hippos (Ancient Greek: Ἵππος, "horse")[1] is an archaeological site in Israel, located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Between the 3rd century BC and the 7th century AD, Hippos was the site of a Greco-Roman city,[2] which then declined under Muslim rule and was abandoned after an earthquake in 749. Besides the fortified city itself, Hippos controlled two port facilities on the lake and an area of the surrounding countryside. Hippos was part of the Decapolis, or Ten Cities, a region in Roman Jordan, Syria and Israel that were culturally tied more closely to Greece and Rome than to the Semitic ethnoi around.

Established as Antioch of Hippos (Ἀντιόχεια τοῦ Ἵππου) by Seleucid settlers, the city is named after the Greek language word for horse, Hippos, and a common name of Seleucid monarchs, Antiochus. In the 3rd-century Mosaic of Rehob, the site is known by its Aramaic name, Sussita (Hebrew: סוסיתא‎‎), a word meaning "horse" in the feminine gender, while the Arabic name, Qal'at al-Hisn, has been used by the country's Arab inhabitants, meaning, "Fortress of the Horse/Stallion". Other names include the alternate spelling Hippus and the Latinized version of the Greek name: Hippum. The precise reason why the city received this name is unknown.[3]

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We were given time to pray and to ask the Lord where we needed to have faith and where we needed to obey him. This time of reflection was a great blessing. As I watched the sunset and gazed at the Sea of Galilee, I was reminded of the sovereignty and power of God. I prayed through so many of my fears and was assured that I could trust in the Lord because He who had the power to command the waves, still has the power today to calm the storms in my life. I was reminded that during the storm, the disciples were afraid for their lives, but Jesus wasn’t. Jesus slept because He knew that He had dominion over everything. My savior has dominion over everything. When I become afraid in the future, I hope that I will recall today. I hope that I will recall the Sea of Galilee and remember that I can trust King of King’s and Lord of Lords because he alone is worthy of my faith, and he alone can command what I cannot control.

Written by Xenia San Miguel

Beth Shean

Located 17 miles (27 km) south of the Sea of Galilee, Beth Shean is situated at the strategic junction of the Harod and Jordan Valleys. The fertility of the land and the abundance of water led the Jewish sages to say, “If the Garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, then its gate is Beth Shean.” It is no surprise then that the site has been almost continuously settled from the Chalcolithic period to the present.

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