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Sea of Galilee

Day 3 was even better than I had expected. We enjoyed being in and around the Sea of Galilee today in various places. Plus, we had a marvelous fish lunch to top it off. It was a full day and spiritually challenging.

Highlights

We started our day where Jesus gave the Beatitudes. This was a beautiful spot overlooking the Sea of Galilee from the north side. We moved to Tel Dan, which is the ruins of Dan from 1 Kings 12. Caesarea Philippi, known for Peter’s interaction with Jesus, was next. We took a tour boat on the Sea of Galilee, enjoying listening to and singing worship music together. Plus, Pastor Shinkle brought a challenging devotion from the Gospels. Our afternoon included trips to Capernaum where Jesus did so much ministry, the spot where Jesus fed the 5,000, and the place where Jesus met the disciples after His resurrection (John 21).

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Kelly and I on the Sea of Galilee

For Your Consideration

I have considered one idea as it relates to two different sights throughout my day.

Who or what do I worship every day? And, Why?

At Tel Dan, we saw the ruins of the altar that Jeroboam built when he wooed the people away from worshiping in Jerusalem to Dan (1 Kings 12-14). He built a golden calf to worship. He did not want the people going down to Jerusalem because he was afraid they would follow Judah instead of him. However, the Bible calls his actions a sin. In fact, a man of God came and declared it forbidden by God. In so doing, the man of God pronounced judgement.

Jeroboam had replaced worship of God with another god at his own altar. In addition, he built many high places and set whomever he wished up as priests. All of this was reprehensible to God. Jeroboam was to lead the northern 10 tribes in worship of God and to tear down any other false gods; however, he instead chose to erect his own and not tear down other places of worship to false gods.

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Tel Dan ruins of the Golden Calf Altar Jereboam built

We left Tel Dan and went to Caesarea Philippi, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee too. It was here that Jesus asked the disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” His inquiry was in the vicinity of a great rock bluff where there were multiple altars to the god Pan and others. It was also here, on this rock, where a great cave opened out of the bluff that people claimed was the gate of hell. With this backdrop, Jesus asked His question.

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The “Gates of Hell” at Caesarea Philippi

Peter correctly answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus blessed him and told him that he as the little rock would build the church of Jesus Christ on the big rock, and that the gates of hell would not prevail against it.

This is a powerful spot to visit. The gates of hell. The altars to Pan. Peter’s confession.

The issue is the same in both Dan and Caesarea Philippi: Who or What will you worship?

Jeroboam and the people at Dan, the followers of the many gods at Caesarea Philippi, and so many others choose to follow a god that isn’t a god. They create an idol in their heart and choose to worship and serve the idol rather than the real God through Jesus Christ.

The reality is, most of us are discerning enough to not worship a golden calf or at a shrine to a false god. But what about all the other things that can be idolatrous throughout our day? Any thing…good or bad…can be the thing that I choose to love and serve rather than God. Any item, idea, person, feeling, or relationship can become my idol or God-replacement. If they were only in shrines, it would be easier to guard our hearts from serving the wrong thing. However, our idols are every day things that we choose to wrap our hearts around, choose to love, and choose to serve.

So today, who or what are you going to serve?

I was reminded of this question and thought of it throughout my day. I pray to not serve self or any other idol, but to only love and serve Jesus Christ.

From this blog series:
Last post: Israel Day 2 – Northern Israel – the Coast and the Jezreel Valley
Next post: Israel Day 4 – Through the Wilderness into Jerusalem

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