I love when God sets things up. When He makes the arrangements, everything just falls into place. Yesterday was just such a day.
I like to go on Daniel Carmel’s boat on the Sea of Galilee. He is a Jewish believer in Messiah. The only challenge is when you have a small group, you need to fit into his schedule. (Which I completely understand.) So I have to call him the day before to see which of the two days we can schedule a ride.
I wanted to take the group to see the Ancient Boat (also known as ‘The Jesus Boat’). It is 2000-year-old boat that was unearthed and brought to Nof Ginosar Kibbutz. I just wasn’t sure how to fit it all in. But God did.
I spoke with Daniel on Tuesday evening. We arranged for him to pick us up at 11:30am in Ginosar. Now, 11:30 is midday, so my wheels were spinning as to what we could do before the boat ride. As Daniel was giving me directions, he said to walk past the museum. It didn’t click in my mind until after we got off the phone that the museum was the exact one I wanted the group to see! God is so good.
There is so much more to the museum than the boat on display. When you go with a tour group, you never get to see the rest of it. Much of it is about the development of Israel. We spent an hour and a half viewing two movies and looking at the displays.
After the museum, we spent some time in the gift shop. As I was checking out, I met the manager. Turns out, he was one of the team of people who helped unearth the boat! He gave me the book about it, after signing it for me. Now, I love archeology, and many people know that if I had it (life) to do over again, I would pursue archeology as my career. (Not that I’m not satisfied with the life I’ve lived and the six children I raised.) But God gifted me with this special present, knowing how much it would mean to me.
Our ride on Lake Kineret was very emotional for several members of our group. It is an overwheming experience to sail across the same water as our Messiah. It is made that much sweeter when you are there worshipping Him in song.
After a simple lunch, we headed to Korazim. There have been some additions to the place, so there was a newness there for me as well. What I also enjoyed was taking the group to places in the town that they do not see on a tour. There is an area with dwellings showing the entire house – one with part of the roof in place. There is also an olive press in a building that would have produced olive oil. And we get to walk through it, not just look at it.
That’s the beauty of spending extra time here in the Land – you get to walk through history; you can take the time to imagine what life was like for it’s inhabitants. What were their joys and sorrows? What did they like and dislike? What challenges did they face, and how did they overcome them? When I touch a wall, or stone, I wonder who else touched it, and what were they like?
Not only do you get to walk through history, but if you come with me, you may just get an unexpected tour through a neighborhood. Whether because of Google, or Ro making a wrong turn, we finally got to see single family homes. A few days ago, someone asked if there were any single family homes in Israel, because all we’ve seen are apartments or multi-family dwellings. Well God didn’t allow that question to go unanswered.
On our way to Korazim, I took a wrong turn, which brought us into a gated community. Lo and behold there were single family homes there. As we were trying to exit, we learned that this gated community was much like ‘Hotel California’ – we could check out, but never leave! The gate had a code, which we obviously didn’t know, and the only other way to open it was a vehicle coming in from the other side. (We did finally make it out, with the help of a resident.)
After Korazim, we headed to the Mount of Beatitudes. We spent time on the hillside, talking about Yeshua and His authority, then reading through the first portion of His teaching. I think the concept of the Torah not being done away with was new to some of our fellow travelers. But when the teaching is read out loud, it becomes clear.
“Do not think I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and eath pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.” – Matthew 5:17-18
Since we are still standing on the earth, with heaven above us, it’s pretty safe to say that the Torah is still in effect. When we really look at what John said – in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us – we can’t help but take Yeshua’s warning to heart in the very next verse:
“Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:19
After leaving the Mount, everyone was ready for a nice dinner. One of the ladies at the Kibbutz recommended a place called Tanureen, just off the highway. It was a very good meal, and the service was excellent! By the way it is set up, it seems to be used by a lot of tour groups. We got there before the dinner rush. In fact, we got there as they were setting up for that rush, but they were gracious enough to seat us and tended to our every need, even when some of us were not quite as gracious (and that’s a whole other lesson!)
So there you have it. We went into the day not quite sure how it would play out, without a complete plan of how it would flow, but God knew exactly how He wanted it to go. I am so grateful to Him for His provision, plan, and providence.