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Day Five—Crossing the Jordan to Possess, February 3, 2012

Day Five—Crossing the Jordan to Possess, February 3, 2012

    This is a day of spiritual blessings for sure. Resonating in my mind
is the verse God gave me while I was tearfully considering my
pilgrimage from Deuteronomy 11:8 “Debi, observe therefore all the
commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go
in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to
possess.” My heart is open to take home with me the spiritual
possessions that can never be taken away. Today I officially crossed the
Jordan at 2 pm. Israel time.

The day centered on taking in all the wonders of Galilee and this amazing lake with so many names and descriptions.
  Our boat Captian welcomed up with a special Texas Greeting.


He was very talented, not only could he sail a ship, he sang to us in English and Hebrew!



 Josephus (3rd Century Jewish Historian)
described the Sea of Galilee this way: “Its nature is wonderful as well as its beauty;
its soil is so fruitful that all sorts of trees can grow upon it, and
the inhabitants accordingly plant all sorts of trees there. One may
call this place the ambition of nature, where it forces those plants
that are naturally enemies to one another to agree together. It not
only nourishes different sorts of autumnal fruit beyond people’s
expectation, but preserves them a great while; it supplies people with
the principal fruits, with grapes and figs continually during ten
months of the year, and the rest of the fruits as they become ripe
together through the whole year; for besides the good temperature of
the air, it is also watered from a most fertile
fountain.”
No one would disagree that Israel is the land of Milk and Honey as they travel around the Sea of Galilee.
   It is not only fruitful physically, it is fruitful spiritually.  Jesus performed most of His miracles and
teaching here in the villages around the great lake. Once of little spiritual significance to the Hebrews after Assyria invaded and most Jews intermarried with Gentiles, in Jesus’ time there were many devout Jews who came back after the exile, and they stood out from the many Greeks living here by their pilgrimages to
Jerusalem, their Sabbath and Dietary practices. They chose Nazareth because it was the place they determined to be where Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah's light would shine (Isaiah 9:1-2).
We took a boat ride through the Sea of Galilee (also called Lake Tiberias, Lake Genneset).  Here I am ready to fish.

     We drove our bus all the way around it, starting at Kibbutz Ginnosar (where we slept the two nights here)  to see St. Peter's boat--recently discovered and over 2,000 years old.

   We stopped to visit to the Church of the Multiplication--Tabgha where we celebrated Holy Communion joined by some of God's creatures.



  We visited the Church of the Beatitudes where Fr. Jason read the famous sermon.  The Mount of Beatitudes are realistically hills but spiritually they could be Mount Everest!
    At the Primacy of Peter Church built around the stone that Jesus fed the disciples breakfast after His resurrection and reinstated Peter, our fellow pilgrim Evan was baptized.  In Capernaum where we saw St. Peter's house and the Synagog. We read Mark 1, as we followed in Jesus' footsteps as walked from the synagog to Peter's house.  We were literally living out the steps described in the Bible!
  We arrived in Jerusalem at Sunset.  Psalm 48 rings out from my soul as we leave the beauty of Galilee to enter the city of Jerusalem for dinner and overnight!
1 Great is the LORD and
greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.
3 Within her citadels God
has made himself known as a fortress.4 For behold, the kings assembled;
they came on together.
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;
they were in panic; they took to flight.
6 Trembling took hold of them there,
anguish as of a woman in labor.
7 By the east wind you shattered
the ships of Tarshish.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen
in the city of the LORD of hosts,
in the city of our God,
which God will establish forever.
Selah9 We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
10 As your name, O God,
so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.
Your right hand is filled with righteousness.
11 Let Mount Zion be glad!
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
because of your judgments!12 Walk about Zion, go around her,
number her towers,
13 consider well her ramparts,
go through her citadels,
that you may tell the next generation
14 that this is God,
our God forever and ever.
He will guide us forever
 
     I wonder if Edward Hayes Plumptre ever pilgrimaged to Jerusalem physically, or just in his soul.
Either way the words of his hymn say it all…rejoice, give thanks and sing!
Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
At last the march shall end;
the wearied ones shall rest;
The pilgrims find their Father’s house,
Jerusalem the blest.
Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice, give thanks and sing!
Edward Hayes Plumptre (1821-1891)
  Here is my first view of Jerusalem at sunset!

   Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited for over 5,000 years. The Bible tells us that Joshua defeated
the Canaanite King of Jerusalem in Joshua 10. It was apparently recaptured by the Jebusites until King David miraculously captured the city and made it the royal capital. Judah’s kings ruled from Jerusalem where the Tabernacle was built until the Babylonian captivity. The Jews were returned to Jerusalem by the Persian kings, and they rebuilt the Temple. There have been over 30 conquests of the city since that time. Judas Maccabeus led a Jewish revolt in 166 B.C., and we know that by 63 B.C. it was once again ruled by another—the Roman Empire.

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