My Journey To Jerusalem The Gospel According To Terrence
Terrence Clark- On top of Mt Carmel - Where prophets have stood and lines have been drawn
by Terrence G. Clark Chapter Three - Day two
Where Jesus Grew Up Barry, Carmel, Megiddo, Nazereth, Tiberias (Thursday)
The sleep in Netanya was pleasant. I had somewhat adjusted to Mid-Eastern time. In the sunlight, I was able to see the view from my balcony window---the view of the Mediterranean. The sand had settled. There was a cloud that was imposing the night before. A rare occasion, but sand from the west hand blown over like fog. Breakfast in the hotel introduced the next course of Mediterranean cuisine.
The traditional eggs and omelets were available, but the unusual morning supplements included salmon, olives, roasted veggie, cheeses and the like. Hummus was in bowls along with various fruits. And coffee was there in the AM. This Israeli blend was different from the U.S. as we would become pleasantly familiar with throughout our tour. And unlike the supersized convenience store size cups of 16 to 24 oz., the black universal brew was at dealt in 4 oz. Dixie size cups.
Sitting with us was Barry Shawl. Pastor Jason had met him on Facebook and had invited him out. Barry, originally, from England had answered the Lord’s calling and was now living in Israel ministering to the Jewish people. He shared oppositions and challenges.
We grabbed a copy of his book---Israel: Reclaiming the Narrative. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we joined hands to pray before we departed for the day. We prayed for Barry’s ministry. God spoke, a prophetic word came forth to encourage Barry and his ministry. We were now not just charged from the trip, but the expectancy of ministry---with those we would meet and by we ourselves. After prayer and prophecy, it was most fitting that our first site visit of the day would be atop Mt Carmel.
Mt Carmel or Karmiel (1Kings 18:19-39; 42-45; 2Kings 2: 25) was where the Prophet Elijah’s ministry reached it greatest heights. It was here the famous contest between this prophet of Yahweh (the God of the Bible) and the priest of Baal.
From Mt Carmel - An ominous sky over the valley of Megiddo - foreboding of a great battle to come
(This land region is inclusive of the Valley of Jezreel)
Baal of course is the false God that King Ahab and his rebellious, idolatrous, wife Jezebel had sought to turn Israel to worship as the God of the land. Yahweh had won, of course, by answering with fire, despite the bloody imploring of the priest of Baal to convince their made-up hero.
It was here that Elijah, empowered by God, out ran Ahab’s royal steeds and delivered the message---of long awaited rain---to the king. The view from Carmel proved also a beautiful site of the luscious green of the land of God. Over half the country is desert. Isaiah 43:19 was alive, Yahweh, the Redeemers says to Israel and consequently all who serve Him,
“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Carmel overlooks the valley of Megiddo. The infamous place is known mostly of anyone who has any knowledge of end times as Armageddon. Megiddo sits in a place that battles have been fought in the past. It is also on schedule to be the place of the final earthly conflict---World War 3---perhaps (Revelations 16:16).
A military plane flew overhead while we there. A forewarning sound, from an ominous sky, of what would, in the near future happen. After pictures, the tour bus took us into Megiddo itself.
Tel Megiddo is a strategic place, located on a hill overlooking the Valley of Jezreel. Scripture and excavation pins it where King Solomon built one of his three royal cities, the two others---in Hazor and Gezer (1Kings 9:15). History also cast other post-biblical battles including the revolt of Canaanites against the Egyptian army and the British invasion of Palestine during World War I.
Left behind and waiting in the mountainous hill were the remnants of stables where king’s horses were bred and raise. Here, like at Caesarea, an ingenious water system had been excavated.
On the way to lunch, we passed roadside tombs. Caves along the side road, cut into rock, with round chiseled stone rolled aside. The Bible was coming alive, the more we understood this distant culture.
“Try the Falafel,” is what Gershon recommended. So many of us did at this first rustic eating place and shop. Not bad and different, pita bread stuffed with falafel---fried hummus balls (or chicken) and with a buffet of regional fillings (11 dollars US currency), washed down with water, fruit juice, or soft drink (at 4 dollars a pop). The Israeli currency is shekels---1 to .26. So lunch was about 58 Shekels. You could pay for it is coins.
The team grabbed some more shopping, hit the restrooms, and back to the bus. The next stop was Nazareth. A journey into the New Testament. Jesus’ home town. Luke 4:16---says it was where he was brought up. It was from here that he was branded a Nazarene. Rona reminds (Thank Rona for the use of her notes for some of my entries) the name is from the Hebrew word “Netzer”, meaning “branch”, referring to the prophecy in Isaiah 11:1.
We were cautious with our walk here, more so this was a village full of people. It would be easy to get lost. And Nazareth is majority Muslim these days. It's known as "the Arab capital of Israel" Aggressive vendors were also trying to sell.
The Nazareth tour included visiting the Greek Orthodox Church which contains Mary’s Well – located inside under the altar. Next the Church of Annunciation built over the place where Mary, a young unmarried virgin, is believed to have lived and where she received Luke’s infamous (Luke 1:26-38) announcement. “Mary beloved of God”, Gabriel proclaimed, “You are chosen to conceive and bear the Son of God---Jesus.”
Fittingly aligned in our tour, from Mary’s home was the YMCA. Yeshua. Messiah. Christian. Association, no---it the same one sang about by the Village People and not the Nazareth Village people---except in its micro-community within. On the other side of the doors was created the Jesus town.
We visited its streets. We learned the story of that life He experienced, routines, joys, and tragedies. We saw the model of the cross, he would bear. We visited the craftsmen (male and female)---weavers and carpenters. Took pictures with the shepherds and their wives. We stood in the synagogue of Jesus day held the open scroll and read Luke 4:18, 19.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and has anointed me to preach the good news----this day, this scripture is fulfilled in your ears.” It is to note Jesus was not just a preacher, but he had a trade. He was a skilled carpenter taught by his step-father Joseph. Carpentry in that day was not with wood only, but it shared masonry. There was no Black & Decker. Jesus, himself, must have been chiseled. Could this have helped to prepare his body for the cross?
The lesson of the olive press was also intriguing as we learned about the threefold process. It related to the Garden of Gethsemane (olive press) where Jesus himself would become that olive under the press of his self-sacrifice. Three presses of the same fruit. Yielding oil for three levels of human trial. To the disciples, He said, “Could you not pray with me for one hour?”
Tiberias sits 200 meters (380 ft) below sea level. The lowest city in Israel and considered one of the “Four Holy Cities of Israel” (along with Hebron, Jerusalem, and Safed); Our ears popped going down into it. We would spend 3 nights here, at the hotel Leonardo. The first night here seemed long to some of our team. Some awakened with the sounds of people on the street. Some were awakened by what they believed was the voice of the Lord.
Rona's Report - Day 2
2nd Day – November 5 (Thu)
- Derived from the Hebrew word “karmiel”, which means “vineyard of God”, it is said to be among the most fertile land in Israel (51% of Israel is desert)
- Coastal mountain range where cities such as Yokneam and Haifa and the Druze communities are located
- Believed to be the place where Elijah appeared before Ahab to reveal that God will send rain after years of famine (1Kings 18:19-39; 42-45; 2Kings 2: 25)
- Located on a hill overlooking the Valley of Jezreel, the mound of Megiddo is where King Solomon built one of his three royal cities; the two others are in Hazor and Gezer (1Kings 9:15)
- Site of epic battles, including the revolt of Canaanites against the Egyptian army and the British invasion of Palestine during the 1st World War
- Megiddo is believed to be the location for the final battle between the forces of good and evil (Revelations 16:16)
- From the Hebrew word, “netzer”, meaning “branch”, referring to the prophesy in Isaiah 11:1
- Known as the hometown of Mary and Joseph, the place they returned to after their flight to Egypt (Luke 2:39); where Jesus grew up (Luke 4:16) and where he incurred the wrath of people in the synagogue (Luke 4:23-29)
- Visited the following sites:
o Mary’s Well – found under the altar inside the Greek Orthodox Church
o Church of Annunciation – believed to have been built over the place where Mary lived and where she was told by the angel Gabriel that she will conceive and give birth to a son who will be named Jesus (Luke 1:26-38)
o Nazareth Village – recreates Nazareth at the time of Jesus and brings to life customs and daily experiences of that time, from dresses to period tools and processes (olive press, carpentry, weaving)
- The lowest city in Israel (200 meters below sea level) and considered one of the “Four Holy Cities of Israel” (the other cities are Jerusalem, Hebron, and Safed); checked in at Leonardo Hotel.