Day 2 in Israel
Standing in the palace that remains of Herod the Great and the story comes alive. This palacious place is painfully breathtaking and heartbreaking. Paul was sentencted to 2 years in prison right here. It's a narrow road for Paul following Christ. And it's a grateful invitation to join the Bigger Story, the Unimagineable Work that Christ was doing in this place for me and you to truly live this day.
We are in Caesarea and it's the place where Cornelius accepted Christianity and opened a door to his own people. On to Mount Carmel, 25 miles long and 20 miles wide. We stand in this present moment at the very top of the mountain, looking at past days gone by from Galilee to Tiberias to Nazareth all in one panoramic glance. The towns are so close. And our minds go to the future day when HE is coming back right here. The Present, the Past, the Future in one frame. And Jesus says to me what He said to Elijah who stood on Mount Carmel praying for rain: "Come Near." It's the cry of my heart and yours....come near, o Beautiful God. Today, let it be known that our God will answer us! And if you can't find God in the place where you are, Amos 9:2,3 says: If you climb to the stars, God will find you and bring you down. If you hide out on Mount Tabor, God will find you even there and bring you back.
We passed through the valley where the chariots of Barach assuaged the footmen of Deborah, Judges 4. The footmen had sticks for defense. But it was the rain that turned the terrain into mud to confound the chariots and riders. And it was Deborah who said: Don't be afraid. God will deliver you. I don't know what you are going through this night but our God is saying to you and to me to not be afraid for His Deliverance draws your way this very day.
We arrived this evening at a gorgeous Tiberian hotel to a delectable buffet, really. The end to an 85 degree day that lasted long and imprinted our hearts. Come Near to Me and I will Come Near to You. And I'll end with the question Jesus asked in Caesarea: "What is the reason you are coming to Me?" The answer found on those pages in this palace: We are here in your Presence to listen.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Day 2 in Israel