The Struggle! The Discomfort! The Challenge!
Golan heights! The Struggle!
The story today took us to an epic overlook of the zealot stronghold, Gamla! (Also known as the Masada of the Galilee) The zealots faced brutal defeat at the hands of the Romans and also faced the horrific decision to intentionally sacrifice their families.
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.
Our community verbally processed this hard topic while expressing differing opinions respectfully and thoughtfully. It was a great example of how a healthy community functions while discussing difficult topics!
Caesarea Philippi! The Discomfort!
Our second hike took us to stone edifices cut from a massive rock wall, where the worship of Pan, half man-half goat, and the worship of Caesar took place. Disturbing sexuality! The story then pulled us past this place of perversion to an overlooking hillside. It was there that we experienced an unexpected turn in the story. We listened to Matthew 16:18..."upon this Rock I will build my church", and this caused us to examine our hearts & the actions we would take in responding to people that we are uncomfortable around.
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.
Omrit! The Decision!
Our third hike took us to an obscure dig site on the Damascus Road. As we sat on the steps of yet another palace of Caesar, we discussed the topics of paying tribute to this ruler who considered himself God, the parable of the Good Samaritan, and Paul's Damascus Road decision. We were challenged to make a decision on how we treat all of humanity.
Kelly & Dawn Bissinger
Featured Upcoming Tour
GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020
Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
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