Following Misgav Am and Tel Dan, we stopped for lunch at a Druze restaurant where many of us tried Lebenah, a very thin pita (more like a Middle Eastern tortilla!) filled with goat cheese and other goodies.
Druze are actually of Arab descent, but are very favorable to Israel. Their sons serve in the IDF, and most are proud Israelis. They live a quiet, simple life primarily in the areas of Carmel and the Golan.
Following lunch, we made our way to Caesarea Philippi, in the far north of Israel. When Jesus told Peter He would build His house upon the rock and the gates of hell would not prevail, they were standing at Caesarea Philippi.
Indeed, there is a very large, intimidating cave-like structure here. It was a place of idol worship in which an animal was sacrificed and thrown into a seemingly bottomless pit of water. If the dead animal sank it was believed the gods accepted the sacrifice. However, if the animal floated, it required sacrifice of a child (thrown into the pit).
As you can imagine, it is gruesome to consider what took place in this pagan, idol-worshipping area. Yet, it was here Jesus promised to build His church upon the rock.
After Caesarea Philippi, our tour took us to an overlook of Syria. By now, we had climbed all the way up the Golan Heights and could see snow on Mt Hermon. It was cold and windy, so difficult to spend a great deal of time outside the bus.
However, Aly did provide a good explanation of what we saw. She pointed out the Syrian border and Quinetra, the nearest Syrian town, just a mere distance from our vantage point. A UN encampment is situated near the border on the Israeli side.
This, of course, is the setting of the northern invasion prophesied by Ezekiel (chapter 38). Because of the cold wind, I taught on Ezekiel 38 while on the bus. To see with our very eyes the setting of Bible prophecy is amazing!
On our drive back to our hotel in the Galilee, we stopped at an olive processing company in Katzrin. Olea Essence produces some of the world’s best olive oil, cosmetics and cleaning products. There, customers are allowed to dip bread into olive oil and taste-test the many herb flavors, as well as try the skin care products. According to some, we all looked 5 years younger! (If only it was that easy!)
We had a special ending to our day as we returned to our hotel. Several people wanted to be baptized again in Israel, so Pastor John braved the chilly water (though the air was much warmer than on the Golan Heights) to baptize several in our tour group. It was a sweet time of renewed commitment to the Lord.
Tomorrow morning we say goodbye to the Galilee and we head south to the Dead Sea area. We are having a wonderful time and looking forward to what a new day brings. Thank you for your prayers and thanks for joining us on the journey. I hope it blesses you!