Holy Land – Day 7

  • By Dr. Don Martin
  • Senior Pastor
  • March 23, 2015
  Today was picture perfect weather with spring in the air. Wildflowers are everywhere in bloom with yellow the dominant color which makes red poppies and Queen Anne's lace stand out. The land of Galilee is lush and green and teeming with olive trees, almond trees, and date palms with lemon and orange trees not uncommon. This Group is delightful with laughter and chatter heard everywhere. We celebrated an 80th birthday at lunch with a traditional Palestinian dessert served. The Samaria Restaurant served a really nice lunch. But I learned why the Jews don't jeehaw with the Samaritans and the problem runs deeper than worship or theology. The owner, Mahmud Ghazal, is a Bama fan which is getting a little close to terrorism in my book. There was Bama stuff on the walls and windows and my Auburn hat was quickly noticed. Mahmud has a brother who owns a restaurant in Gadsden and it's a small world after all. We had great laughs with pictures and fun. I'm gonna mail him some Auburn stuff when I get home. Gotta love SEC football. I got a Go Dawgs shout today in the ancient city of Beit Shean. I was wearing my UGA shirt out of love for my son Taylor. What a world. The morning stop was Beit Shean and it was spectacular. What a magnificent city. I would want to live here if I lived back in that day. The 200 acre Tel is in excellent condition and tells its own story easily and well. Beit Shean is the place where King Saul met his doom. He and his 3 sons died on the nearby battlefield at Mt Gilboa. Their beheaded bodies were hung on the wall by the Philistines to add insult and terror to the Israelite army. But some of some of King Saul's soldiers came by night and retrieved their bodies giving them a decent burial. King David later took the city back and it's history in Israel continued until Israel fell to the Assyrians and was destroyed. The history runs long and deep here. You can google anything so dive in if you're interested. We drove right by a place I have long wanted to see. So I viewed Naboth's Vineyard at 50 mph and thought about the prophet Elijah and the sniveling King Ahab and his infamous Phoenician wife Jezebel. What she did and Ahab allowed is despicable beyond measure which is exactly what Elijah declared in the name of God. You cannot do anything you choose because you hold political power and God sees and renders justice. The rules of right and wrong apply across the board says the prophet! The highlight of the day was the stop at Jacob's well. We were in Samaria and yes this is THE WELL where Jesus had a meaningful conversation with the woman who came to draw water at high noon. She had enough husbands to fill a Christmas stocking which says at least as much about the men in her life as it does her. Jesus saw something strong in her I guess because doggone if he didn't go on and tell her plain as Easter that he was the Messiah which he didn't do every day of the week and even the disciples including Peter were made to figure that out by a pondering. But he told her who he was and told her he knew who she was and that lit a fire in her that set the entire village ablaze if you can follow my metaphor. A two day revival broke out that changed things for lots of people right up to the present day. Anyway, I drank water from that well and so did lots of folk including Ken Corneilius. I got a picture on my I phone to prove it! Ken Cornelius At Jacob's Well It was cool and fresh and the only thing I like better is the other water that Jesus spoke about that I started drinking back in 1972 and the Lord was right cause I ain't had a thirsty minute since. "I shouldn't be here" is the thought that came to mind which is the same thought I had when I drank here in 1998 cause I'm not worthy. I'm a clown and a smart alleck and a redneck and I should be home in Georgia reading about such things saying I wish I could be there and only meaning it a little. But here I am by the mercy of God and so I drank the cup all the way down and had seconds while Phil Kuntz had his head turned and I'd stay and drink all day but the bus would leave me and I don't want to be in Samaria after the sun goes down. This is a dangerous place- for Auburn fans. Y'all Come, Dr. Don.         Holy-Land_blog_3-15