We said goodbye to the Sea of Galilee this morning and traveled across the Land to the west and south and up to Jerusalem!
Our first stop was the Roman city of Scythopolis. Interesting, before it was a Roman city it was the Israelite tel called Bet She’an. A tel is a large hill upon which multiple civilizations were built on top of each other. Then, when the Romans came to the Land, they built a major city at the base of the tel.
Why here in this spot?
It has water. It is defensivable. It has crops and agriculture nearby. And it is along a major crossroad and highway.
It is a major cultural hub. And a place with great influence in the Land. I think the faith lesson for us here is a reminder to not let us be influenced by the culture, but rather we can make it our aim to be people of faith who influence the culture for the Kingdom of God. (See Romans 12:2, for example). Whether it was the judgment of God against the excesses and carnality of Rome, or merely a natural event, this beautiful city was destroyed by an earthquake in 749 AD.
From here we visited Magiddo, Mt. Carmel and Caesaria along the Mediterranean Sea.
Tonight, we have reached the House! We will spend the next three days in Jerusalem! Why? To see the sites, to study the Word and to praise the Lord!
That is where the tribes go up— the tribes of the Lord — to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel.
Psalm 122:4 NIV