The last two days have been fabulous. Friday was our "northern Israel" day and we visited Dan, Caesarea, Golan Heights, and finally a baptismal service on the Jordan River. The picture on the right is Sharon and me in front of the Dan Spring. It is from here the Jor-Dan river begins. In Dan is the Jeroboam altar foundation that the king of the northern kingdom developed and where he place a golden calf. Behind the altar and under an ancient oak tree, I'm sharing a devotional to those on my bus on "Being Content with God's Gifts." We also saw a 4,000+ old Canaanite mud gate that would have been here when Abraham came by Dan seeking to rescue his nephew Lot! And we think things are old in North American if they are a couple of hundreds of years old!
Saturday (today) started at Tiberias and ended at Jerusalem! We started with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. The boat is owned by a friend I have made over the years here and is named "Faith." The people really enjoyed as Daniel led us in a number of worship choruses before we met up with the other boats and heard Steve Green sing and Chuck Swindoll preach. Then it was on to Beth Shean where King Saul's dead body was hung on the walls after he was slain on nearby Mt. Gilboa. Dr. Reg Grant, a good friend of ours for the last 13 years performed a wonderful drama concerning a man from Jabesh-Gilead who came to rescue the body of Saul and take it back across the Jordan River. It was extremely powerful in its message. The picture on the right is of Reg performing in Israel's largest ancient Roman theater. After a wonderful lunch and touring Gideon Spring (En Harod) and a short devotional there, it was south down the west bank of the Jordan River. Our lead guide Amir had arranged to have the Israeli military escort us down to a newly build site on the Jordan River where ancient churches indicate that John the Baptist baptized here. Right across the river was Jordan (the border is in the middle of the river) and I was able to greet the guards there in Arabic. The interesting thing was I had just been on the opposite side this past June looking into Israel at this exact spot! It was probably right here that Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan after God miraculously stopped up the water. Then up to Jerusalem!!! More about Jerusalem tomorrow.