Monday, February 17, 2014

Books, Borders and Beauty

The morning sunrise over the Golan Heights was amazing (according to the few who were out there to see it)!  We parted this morning for our tour of the Golan Heights and some of its places of significance.  First stop, Hazor HaGelilit, hometown of Honi the Circlemaker.  In Mark Batterson's book by the title The Circlemaker, Honi is a man of prayer who is asked to pray for rain during a time of extreme drought.  I suggest you get the book to read his story.  We visited his tomb.

After a stop at the Naot shoe factory, we moved on to Tel Dan, the primary headwaters for the Jordan River.  This lush park area is also the northern city of Dan once visited by Abraham; ruled by Jeroboam and destroyed by the Assyrians.  The gate of Abraham from around 2000 BC was found and is visible, including arches.  The gate of Jeroboam is here and we can also see the Fortress of Nimrod, a 12th century fortification in the distance.  That means there is over a 3000 years of history readily available right before our eyes.  We also stood on the Lebanese border at the back of the tel. That is one of two of the borders we will see today.

Caesarea Philippi was next.  A pagan city, also called Banias,  It was near here that Peter made his great profession of faith that Jesus was the Lord or Messiah.  It was also near here on an extension of the hill we were looking at where God made His covenant with Abraham.  We also believe that Jesus took his disciples up on a "high mountain" for His transfiguration in that same area.  That high mountain is known as Mount Hermon.

We ate in a Druze village.  Wonderful falafel.  Then on to cafe in the sky.  This bunker saw a tremendous level of action in the first few days of the Yom Kippur war.  It was cold up there.  We looked over into Syria and heard the boom and felt the concussion of a shell.  It was an Israeli tank brigade on maneuvers on a range just over the hill from us.  No problem.

We traveled south along the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, stopping at an overlook directly across from Tiberius. What an amazing view.  Time for another group photo.  We then ended our day closer to the lake, stopping near Kurzi, the area where Jesus cast the demons into the pigs.  We stood on the cliff where this likely took place.

Tomorrow, we follow the Via Maris and find our way up into Jerusalem.

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