Message from Rich
Today was a BIG BIG DAY! Nice and hot and how could we forget, HUMID! So we started out our day at Mount Gilboa, which was where the Philistines gathered in the valley like locusts to take Israel, who were camped on the mountain. The story is in 1 Samuel 28 and it talks about how the Israelites were outnumbered and Saul inquired the Lord but didn’t hear anything so he disguised himself and left Mount Gilboa (where we were standing!) and snuck across the valley of Philistines (which we were looking at!) and went to the mountain of Endor to consult a witch. Basically the witch brings up Samuel and Saul pretty much gets his death sentence and goes back to Gilboa, fights, and he and his sons die. They got nailed to the walls in Bet She’an (where we went later!)
After that we walked down a little ways and stopped at a stream. This stream was called “The Stream of Harod” which happened to be the one where Gideon brought his men down and the Lord told Gideon that he had too many men in his army to fight Midian. So the Lord told him to take the men down to the water and depending on how they drank they would be kept in the army or turned away. It was pretty crazy looking at it and imagining all this strong men lapping water in their mouths before they headed off for a battle and now we are puny tourists looking at the crabs swimming by and playing with rocks.
Then we went to the middle of nowhere and saw he backside of Mount Gilboa, walking up a hill through a WIDE gate. Continuing our walk we went to an overlook and all of our jaws dropped muttering a few Holy Cows! We were overlooking the capital city of the Decapolis, Bet She’an. It was amazing work of human architecture and ruins. We found out how the pagans had everything and the disciples from Capernaum, Bethsaida, and Korazin had really nothing to offer the Gentiles there and the only thing they could offer was their story of how Christ has affected their lives. After that we went to Susita another Decapolis city and found out how one man’s story changed the face of the city forever when he told them how Christ drove the Legion of demons out of his body. Our last stop was the Jordan River, wait what did I just say? Oh ya, THE JORDAN RIVER, where we did baptisms. It was amazing and we got to see our brothers and sisters make that proclamation of a life of obedience to God and then get dunked in the rushing Jordan River. So cool! Then after that the rest of our Joshua class jumped in and felt refreshed from a long day of walking. We sang a song together and then headed towards the bus. Another amazing day in the Land of Israel.
Jeff and Sarah Dean (hear our thoughts about the trip)
Click here to see pictures from our trip
Audio from one of our talks today