Today, the tour began—with 500 of our closest friends! And what a great day it was. We began our day at Caesarea—the primary port used in the time of Jesus and the Apostles.
Caesarea by the Sea
In the first century, Caesarea enjoyed a constant flow of people with money to burn (sort of like tourists today, I guess). The bustling seaport featured all the usual touches of Roman culture—including a vast entertainment industry for the masses that frequented the city.
We sat in the ancient, massive theater built for 3500 spectators and overlooked the ocean.
- Chuck Swindoll spoke to us here about the Apostle Paul’s trials—and his courage before Herod Agrippa II.
- Reg Grant portrayed King Herod Agrippa I. According to the historian Josephus, Agrippa stood to address the throng that gathered there and that hailed him as a god, and the Lord struck him down because he did not give glory to God (see Acts 12:20-23 and Josephus’ Antiquities 19.8.2). All of us on the tour, however, left the theater alive. Thankfully.
Our next stop found us atop Mount Carmel, beholding a stunning view of the surrounding area. When I stood on the balcony of the monastery of Muhraqa, a glance below the balcony revealed the traditional area from which Muhraqa gets its name—“the place of burning.”
The slope of trees and rocks gave stage to the Prophet Elijah’s showdown against the prophets of Baal, as recorded in 1 Kings 18. In a dazzling display of authority and vindication, fire fell from heaven and licked up Elijah’s sacrifice—as well as the altar and its surrounding trenches of water! Not surprisingly, the people then turned to God.
The question Elijah asked here still moves me:
How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him (1 Kings 18:21).
We also toured Tel Megiddo, the site of so many battles in history and the future location of Armageddon in the book of Revelation (Rev. 16:16).
Continue Your Tour!
Learn more about each of these sites, including devotionals for each one, by exploring these links:
- Caesarea—A Place for Entertainment, Evangelism, and Education
- Caesarea—Explore Israel’s Harbor & Herod’s Palace
- When You’re Ready—But Nothing Happens
- The Via Maris Highway—Israel’s Picture of Your Influence
- Mount Carmel—Three Passes Along the International Highway
- Mount Carmel and Elijah’s Place of Burning
- Tel Megiddo and What Megiddo Tells Us
See My Pictures from the Tour—and on the Map!
Check out my pictures of our tour. I’m adding to the collection daily, so be sure and check each day’s post. Click the locations on the map below to see pictures from that site.
(Can’t see my pics? Just click here and select a post.)