Happy Lord’s Day! If you are following, you know we’re in the midst of a “tour rewind,” looking back at our 2019 EXPERIENCE ISRAEL TOUR. We’ll pick it up again, but today I want to tie in a special thought to one of the sights we just visited: Bet Shean.
As you know, the Romans ruled the land of Israel long before the birth of Jesus, and long after He was crucified. In pictures of Bet Shean, you see the influence: the cardo, the spa, the theater, the bath house, and houses of ill repute. Roman society, whether at home in Rome or in Israel and other territories under Roman rule, were very pagan. Hope was placed in things other than God, and the Jewish people were oppressed in their own land.
In fact, the Jews were looking for a savior who would redeem them from the tyranny of Roman rule. Yet, that wasn’t Jesus’ purpose, so the Jewish people missed the coming of their Messiah. Later, the apostle Paul wrote a letter to the believers in Rome which included this message of hope:
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.~Romans 15:4
Hope is powerful, and we could use a little in our society today as well. There is pagan influence in our world, just as there was in Bet Shean. Our morals and values are being tested every single day, and those in positions of power seem determined to annihilate all semblance of Godly values.
Where is our hope? Is it not the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, to redeem us from an oppressive world? Paul says we gain patience and comfort from Scripture, so let’s see what Scripture says! In a letter to Titus, Paul put it this way:
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.~Titus 2:11-13
Indeed, our hope is the Blessed Hope! When we fix our eyes on Him and remain steadfast in hope, we will persevere through all life has to throw at us. Reading His Word gives us confidence, seeing His land and His people paints the picture in our minds!
I hope you are blessed by our virtual tour of Israel, and I am praying every day for the experience to impact your faith in profound ways! Please immerse yourself in our tour, just as though you were onsite with us. God has something special for you, and it will change your life!
Blessings this beautiful Sunday, my friends!