Journey To The Sea And To The South

Neal Pollard

Today was a day about the Changeless and change. As we got on the bus to depart, we sang to John Moore who saw a change from one year to the next as we celebrated his birthday. Our tour started at the Jordan River at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus’ baptism signaled a change in His life and the beginning of His public ministry. We rode a boat on the Sea of Galilee, which led our thoughts (as Michael Hite spoke to us) to a life-changing experience for the apostles as they watched their Teacher show His miraculous power over winds and waves. Just the stiff westerly breeze we experienced helped us appreciate what a violent,east driven storm would have done to change courage to fear in an instant. We went to Beit She’an, where Saul’s body was nailed after his violent death in battle. This signaled a change in Israel’s leadership. In New Testament times, the city was one of ten cities known as the Decapolis where Jesus did miracles and brought His message of eternal change (Mark 5:20; 7:31ff). Ken Dawdy spoke to us of this city as we sat in the well-preserved theatre. Then, we made the two-plus hour journey southeast to the Dead Sea. We watched the gradual change of terrain and topography, going from lush, hilly and green to arid, dry, brown and accented by the dramatic contrast of the Dead Sea. All along the way, I thought of the words, “Change and decay in all around I see; Oh Thou who changes not, abide with me.” Thousands of years of rich history reside in this hallowed land. Change aptly describes the land. We passed through territory claimed by dozens of nations through time. Overseeing and ruling over it all is the God who changes not! Praise God for His steady, unchanging hand, a hand we count on to hold, protect, and comfort us whatever changes come into our lives!

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View of Beit She’An (Photo: Neal Pollard)

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