On the Way to Galilee

April 5, 2007

On the first day of our “Galilee Trip,” we did not even see Galilee because we took our time traveling through the coastal regions of the land of Israel. This journey brought us to two spectacular destinations: Caeserea and Mount Carmel.

When you tour Israel, you see many things built by Herod the Great, and every one of them is impressive, from Masada to Herodium to the Temple Mount. However, none of these rest in such a picturesque location as Caesarea.

This city was nothing until Herod the Great made it a light on the coast of Israel. By using innovative construction methods, he built a monumental, man-made harbor–complete with lighthouse. Many other remains are scattered throughout the city, including a theatre and a hippodrome (used for gladiatorial competitions and chariot races.) Of course, Herod built himself a pretty sweet palace right on the coast. In one wing of the palace tha just out into the ocean, he even had a fresh water swimming pool.

How did he get fresh water? He built an aqueduct that brought water from higher regions to the north all the way to this great city.

In biblical history, Paul spent two years imprisoned here and gave defences before Felix, Festus, and King Agrippa II. As I walked through the ruins of Caesarea, I realized that while I may be impressed by what Herod built, now it is nothing more than something interesting to see. Paul did not build any impressive buildings, but what he did still affects my life today. Herod lived in the lap of luxury; Paul lived in a jail. Now Herod is a memory, but the fruit of Paul’s work can be seen in the lives of people like you and me.

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In this picture, I am playing the role of Herod Agrippa I. In this picture, I am giving a speech on my own awesomeness. If there was a next picture, it would show me getting eaten by worms.

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Here’s a token Hotchkiss pic under an arch in the aqueduct.

In the late afternoon, we made our way up to the top of Mount Carmel and the monastery at Muhraqa, the traditional location for the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The roof of the monastery gives you a great view from the Jezreel Valley (including Armageddon) to the Mediterranean Sea. From this one spot, you can see the setting for so much biblical history. Therefore, Todd likes to use this spot to teach.

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Of course, the main story we discussed at this site was that of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The whole story is summed up in this one line: “If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.”

The truth is simple: The Lord is God; therefore, we should follow him whole-heartedly. In this next picture, David Wreesman and I are standing in front of an Elijah statue. Elijah is standing over one of the prophets of Baal, all of which were killed because they were leading Israel astray. Do not listen to the false ways of the world–the Lord is God; follow him.

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That’s all for this post of Galilee Trip sweetness. These next couple weeks are the busiest of the semester academically, so the posts might not be as frequent.

Until next time, enjoy the pics, sleep well, follow the Lord.

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3 Responses to “On the Way to Galilee”

  1. Roberta Blakey said

    It’s encouraging to hear your thoughts about some awesome places. I really liked Ceasarea. Not only is it beautiful, but it is significant biblically. You mentioned Paul’s imprisonment there, but it was also the home of Cornelius, where Peter came and preached in Acts 10, and Gentiles were converted. Also, later in Acts 21, Paul visits the home of Philip the evangelist in Caesarea. A sweet place, with some sweet history!

  2. Ben, awesome posts! I love the pictures and hearing how God is working in your life over there at Ibex. I liked how you said, “The truth is simple: The Lord is God; therefore, we should follow him whole-heartedly.” Amen to that!

    Can’t wait to see you in a month or so…we are praying for you and miss you!

  3. mrsdestroyer said

    I liked your last line. If we follow the Lord, we can indeed sleep well. I remember Mr. Rehrer had a verse he liked about the good sleep that God gave to those who trusted him.

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