Zealous for God!
We got on the road at 7:30am this morning and headed North to the Golan Heights. This land has been disputed for years between Israel and Syria. Today it is Israel’s land. That said, we were told that mines may still be here so we were sure to stay on the path and close to our Rabbi! Ha!
In this land of Gamla 15,000 Zealots lived as they fought the Romans. Zealots are exactly what you’d think: zealous, passionate, radical. They were finally overtaken by the Romans who use a battering ram to breach the wall. The reason they got in was because one Zealot didn’t do their job securing the wall. Man would I hate to be that guy! We were reminded as the church to be sure to do our job. We all have a part to play in the body of Christ!
Known sometimes as the “Masada of the North,” Gamla is most famous for its strong defense against the Romans in the Jewish Revolt in AD 66. The site is bordered on all sides by deep wadis of the Golan Heights and is approachable by only one footpath from the northeast. The earliest settlement was in the Early Bronze Age and the site was reinhabited by returning exiles from Babylon. Herod the Great settled Jews here to populate his border cities.
We continued our hike to the top of the mountain where the Zealots jumped to there death instead of being captured or killed by the Romans! Talk about guts! One thing we learned was we all need a Zealot in our life to lead with passion and create a movement! As we looked down from the mountain we too are filled with zeal to make His name known! (Numbers 25:1-13)
This land is also a bird sanctuary, one of which is the Griffon Vulture which has a 9 foot wing span! It was a great picture of how God covers us and lifts us up under the protection of His wings! When we grow weary, exhausted, or faint He increases our strength. We will mount up on wings like eagles, we WILL run and not grow weary we will walk and NOT grow faint (Isaiah 40:31).
After lunch we went to Laish (many know it as Tel Dan). It had unbelievably lush trails with rushing water from the Jordan River and gorgeous COLD waterfalls. We took advantage of that for sure! Here our Israeli guide, Ronen, spoke to us about the tribe of the Dannites, and how the unwise counsel Rehoboam and Jeroboam took from others led down a path that was detrimental to all the generations of Dan. It is so important to stay close to Jesus, abiding in him ALWAYS. What kind of legacy are we passing on to the next generation?
On the northern frontier of the kingdom, Dan was particularly well fortified. This gatehouse was built in the ninth century BCE, probably by Ahab, and is part of a series of gateways discovered.
This whole trip we are seeing Jesus teach through pictures. After Laish we walked to Caesarea Philippi known as the “Gateway to the Underworld.” It was CRAZY to know what actually went on here during that time period. This was Sin City! What’s so awesome is that Jesus brings the disciples here for a PURPOSE! They walked against the stream ON PURPOSE. It is here where He tells Peter that it’s on THIS rock that I’m going to use you to build my church! The rock where these false pagan Gods are! This rock is HUGE, and this is one of the last places Jesus takes the disciples before He goes to be crucified in Jerusalem. This is how He prepares the disciples to GO, make more disciples, spread the gospel and BE LIGHT in a dark world! Our hearts are burning for passion and zealous to shine for Him!
Tonight we got back to our Kibbutz, baptized a few of our family tribe members and all participated in Mikveh in the Sea of Galilee. It was AMAZING! We are forever changed. Our hearts feel so connected to His and we are being transformed from the inside out.
“We give you our head, our heart, our hands and our feet over to Christ.”
This abundant water supply has made the area very fertile and attractive for religious worship. Numerous temples were built at this city in the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
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Septemer 5-17, 2020
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