Dear family, friends, and all those with reason to check up on us. First off, everything is going just fine here in the Holy Land. The agenda of Biblical sites that we stumbled upon today consisted of Nazareth, Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, and Caesarea. So, we were pretty much just hanging out in the Northern portion of Israel. (click here to view the pictures from our day)
It was interesting visiting Jesus’ hometown. It wasn’t at all what you would expect. It’s mostly inhabited by Muslims and has the normal amenities, McDonald’s, KFC, the works. It beholds a spectacular view of the east side of the Jezreal Valley. We didn’t stay in Nazareth long. We only lingered long enough to take a few pictures of the panoramic view and write down a few facts about the Jezreal Valley. After that we split.
Next, we cruised down to the ruined city of Megiddo. While we were there, Pastor Brad Bell gave us the details on the city, and the surrounding Jezreal Valley. Turns out, Megiddo was a very well fortified and powerful city for the nation of Canaan. With the Via Maris running right next to the city, trade, and tolls on the Via Maris made the city of Megiddo a very wealthy one. Probably the most interesting thing; however, was learning about the final battle that is suppose to take place around Megiddo. Revelation 16:16 says, “Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon (in Hebrew its Har Megiddo and that is where you get the word Armageddon).” Thus, it was awesome to be in the place where Jesus wins! Personally, it’s encouraging to live life knowing that we are going to win! Anyways, we left Megiddo via water tunnel, which was kinda like bring in line for the Indiana Jones ride at Disney Land-Minus the bones, and the actual ride.
We also briefly checked out Mount Carmel, where Elijah had his showdown with the priests of Baal. It’s really amazing getting to sit on the spots where these stories actually happened! Joey Webb gave us a great talk about Elijah’s life story and how that applies to our lives today.
We will now conclude our blog with an account of Caesarea. This was the biggest city in Israel at the time of Jesus, as well as one of the biggest cities in the world at that time. It was a great example of Herod the Great’s excess. It was the home of many of the rulers of that time, including Pontius Pilot. Each of the buses broke off for a private tour of this amazing city before we took off for Jerusalem. And that is where we will end our tale. Layla-tove, or should I say boker-tove, to you all.
We love you all!
-Nathan Betz and Rusty Daniels