It was worth getting up half an hour early to miss the crowds this morning. It was a splendid morning and we actually needed jackets for a while. This is a beautiful national park nestled at the foothill of the Hermon, and the water that the mountain stores like a sponge comes out right at the base cold and crystal clear.
We took a fun picture of the king sitting at the gate with his elders. Sorry elders, I couldn’t get quite all of you on the picture.
The city of Dan has a sad beginning and ending. It was called Laish until the Danites decided they didn’t want the coastal plain that was their inheritance. Perhaps they were tired of fighting the Philistines. Whatever the problem was, they sent a group of men to find a better place, and they traveled north, all the way to the mountains of Ephraim where they ended up in the house of one Micah, who had an idol made of silver and a Levite acting as his family priest. The Levite sends the Danites on with promises that they are going on mission blessed by God, and they journey on to Laish. There they find a good land, and a people unsuspecting and dwelling in safety. They return home, convince their tribe move with them, steal Micah’s idol and priest along the way, and take the city of Laish and rename it Dan. Fast forward several hundred years to the time of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. The kingdom is divided, and Jeroboam becomes the king of the Northern kingdom, Israel. And he does the unthinkable. He sets up a golden calf (really?) in Bethel and one In the city of Dan. Until the Israelites are carried away captive to Assyria, they are almost totally idolatrous. And it all began with a tribe who wouldn’t accept the inheritance that God had given them.
What is your inheritance?
Looking North. The far mountain ridge is Lebanon.
This is the gate of Laish in Abraham’s time when he rescued Lot from this very city.
This was the source of the Jordan before the water was diverted by an earthquake. The place was called the “Gates of Hell” by the pagans who worshipped the god Pan, who was half man, half goat. Right beside this cave they built a temple to their god and worshipped him in terrible ways. Jesus brought His disciples to this very place, Caesarea Philippi. Why did He come to this pagan city? Was He confronting the very Gates of Hell, and showing us that this is our job? That we should be on the offense, not just defense?
Isn’t this a beautiful terraced mountain?
This lake is a visible part of the huge water reservoirs under Mt. Hermon. We ate lunch at a restaurant high on the mountain beside this lake.
We are looking into Syria. ISIS is right across the border. Rebel groups are right across that border. Syria is a country devastated by years of civil war, but could it be that GOD is shaking the land? Read the prophecies in Ezekiel 36-39. There is hope for the Middle East! God wants to bring peace. Pray for Syria, and pray that God’s Word will be fulfilled. Running approximately through the center of this photo is the gray road that is the border between Israel and Syria.
At Quatzrin, we got to see an insula, which is a village of houses all built around a center courtyard.
We shopped at Olea Essence, where they make great olive oil. From the byproducts of the olives which are very bad for the environment when simply dumped, they make cosmetics. We all got to try the exfoliating wash that looks like brown mud.
Then it was back to the hotel for dinner and rehearsal. We don’t have many spare moments, but we are thoroughly enjoying our time. Tomorrow we have another concert, this time beside the Sea of Galilee in the Magdala Boat Chapel.