Today, we made our way up the Inter-Coastal Highway from Netanya, Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Megiddo, and the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias). This ancient trade route has been in existence since before the time of Abraham and runs from Egypt through Canaan, up over the fertile crescent (Syria) then down the Euphrates to Ur (modern Iraq). This highway was the most essential vein that brought life and prosperity to three continents (Africa, Europe and Asia). The nation who control this route controlled the heartbeat and blood flow of many nations. The land of Canaan (which is where most of Israel’s history is lived out) is the hub and center-piece of this Inter-coastal trade route. It is in this land that God chose to place Israel. It is this place that God chooses for Himself a nation for Himself to accomplish His will that brings glory to His name forever and ever. God chose the hottest location for this small nation among the giants in history (Egypt, Assyria, Babylonians, Greek and Roman empires). A location that would test Israel’s faithfulness, obedience, and dependence of God to work His will out through them.
The lesson learned from this for all of God’s people is that, God sometimes places His own in impossible situations to test our faithfulness (Abraham) and causes us to depend on Him in every circumstance (Moses & Joshua) by trusting in His ways with our whole heart (David). That even though we may fail Him repeatedly (Judges & Kings), God is still faithful to carry out His promise and purpose (Jesus) bringing salvation to His own (Israel & the Church), all for His glory.
Today, the mission of God was on my mind. From God giving Herod the Great the ability and vision to build Caesarea (a city he built for Caesar Augustus), which becomes later a spring board for missions and the spreading of the gospel to the whole world (Peter and Paul), demonstrating His exclusiveness and power at Mt. Carmel (Elijah and Baal prophets), Jesus declaring Himself as the One who is fulfilling the prophecy of the messiah at Nazareth and Galilee, eventually revealing His divine power and might to all nations in the end at Megiddo (Armageddon) when Christ returns to set up His millennial kingdom before the ages to come.
The places we visited today set the stage for some of the greatest stories in the Bible.
Caesarea was the place where Phillip concluded his preaching tour (Acts 8:40), yet it is the place where Paul first started preaching (Acts 9:30). Caesarea was the place that God chose to bring the gospel to gentiles by connecting Peter with Cornelius (Acts 10:1). It was also here that Paul was taken into custody and jailed before being sent to Rome (Act 23:23-33, 27:1) after being heard and tried by King Agrippa and Festus (Acts 25:13).
Mt. Carmel was the stage where the prophet Elijah challenged the Baal prophets to see whose God was the strongest (1 Kings 18-19).
Megiddo, which is now a tel, was a strategic city built by Solomon (1 Kings 9:15). King Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Necho (2 Kings 23:29) and Megid do will eventually be the site that will witness the final battle in history, Har-Maggedon (Revelation 16:16). It is interesting to note, that from this site, you can visually see Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, Mt. Moriah, Mt. Gilboa, and the whole Jezreel valley (which is also known as the plain of armageddon). This place has been the location of 250 historic battles. It is the place where Saul (1 Samuel 29:1) and Josiah met defeat, where Barak won victory over the Canaanites (Judges 4) and Gideon defeated the Midianites Judges 4 and 7). Even though we didn’t visit Nazareth, we could see it on it’s ridge from Megiddo and driving by it on the way to Galilee. Nazareth was Jesus’ home until he was rejected (Luke 2:39; 4:16, 28-31). It was where Jesus returned after the temptation (Matthew 4:12). It was also there in the synagogue that Jesus declared Himself to be the fulfillment of prophecy (Luke 4:16; Mark 6:1).
We eventually ended the day over looking the sea of Galilee from a vista located on the westside 1500ft over Tiberias.
Other Photos from today: