Category Archives: Israel


Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel

Jerusalem, Israel, is very special place to God.

Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem is mentioned almost 800 times in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament Abraham offered Isaac on Mount Moriah, the site which today is known as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

David reigned from Jerusalem and spoke often of it. In the New Testament Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was in Jerusalem many times and spoke of it. The major writers of the New Testament including Peter, Paul, and John spoke of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, Israel Walls

Jerusalem, Israel Walls

Psalms 83:1, O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!

Psalms 132:13-14, For the Lord has chosen Zion;he has desired it for his dwelling place: This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.

Psalms 122:6-7, Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!  Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!”

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Beth Shean, Israel

Beth Shean, Israel is an ancient city in northern Israel situated near the Jordan River and the Jezreel Valley.

Beth Shean, Israel

Beth Shean, Israel

Beth Shean is about 17 miles south of the Sea of Galilee.   The city seems to have been established thousands of years before the time of Christ.  It is also know as Scythopolis.

It may have been visited by Jesus in Mark 7.31 “And again he went out from the borders of Tyre, and came through Sidon unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the borders of Decapolis.”

Beth Shean, Israel

Beth Shean, Israel

The city was allotted to the tribe of Manasseh. Joshua 17:11 “And Manasseh had in Issachar and in Asher Beth- shean and its towns,…”

But the city was not conquered. Judges 1: 27 “And Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth- shean and its towns, nor of Taanach and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.”

Beth Shean, Israel

Beth Shean, Israel

King Solomon made Beth Shean a major city:

1 Kings 4:7 “And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided victuals for the king and his household: each man had to make provision for a month in the year. ” 1 Kings 4:12 “Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth- shean which is beside Zarethan, beneath Jezreel, from Beth- shean to Abel- meholah, as far as beyond Jokmeam;”

The Lord Vindicates Samuel

The Lord Vindicates Samuel as a True Prophet of the Lord

Grape Vines in Eastern Washington

Grape Vines in Eastern Washington

Lets read just a little bit more, here.  We are looking at I Samuel 3:19, “And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground .” In other words, God was vindicating whatever Samuel spoke. Verse 20, “And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. 21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.” Notice verse 21 says, “God appeared again at Shiloh.”  It is like God was waiting for a faithful priest. God was waiting for someone with a heart to hear and a heart to obey, and when He found someone like that, He was going to appear again.

Morning Prayer Sets the Direction for the Day

Morning Prayer Sets the Direction for the Day.

Boat on Sea of Galilee, Israel

Boat on the Sea of Galilee, Israel

A great Bible verse is Mark 1:35, “and  rising in the morning long before day, he went out and went away into a desert place, and there prayed“.  The Lord Jesus spent time in the  morning in prayer to get himself in alignment with God, the Father. Jesus also prayed that the whole day would be in the Father’s will, purpose and direction. His morning time set the direction for the whole day.

From the context of this passage we can discern that Jesus probably prayed in the region of the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. The above picture was taken from another boat on Sea of Galilee.

How do we know Jesus prayed this way? Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. This is a portion from the familiar Lord’s Prayer.

God Answers Hannah’s Prayer

God Answers Prayer

Ancient Olive Tree in Jerusalem Israel

Ancient Olive Tree in Jerusalem, Israel

Hannah prayed this prayer in Shiloh, a city in Samaria, Israel.

God Answers Hannah’s Prayer
Verse 21, “Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.” Hannah named her son, Samuel. The name, Samuel, means, “Asked of God”. I would even say Hannah named Samuel after her prayer. I asked God for something and God answered my prayer. Samuel is his name, which means, “God answers prayer”.

Hannah Fulfills Her Vow to the Lord
After the child had been weaned, Hannah went on to say that she would bring him to appear in the presence of the Lord that he might abide there forever. In other words, Hannah kept her promise. In verse 23 we read that Hannah’s husband said, “And may the Lord establish His word.” Hannah had been praying that God would establish the words of Samuel. Then in I Samuel 1:26 Hannah said, “…Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.” She brought Samuel to the Lord and spoke to Eli. Verse 27, “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.” In other words, Hannah gave him to the Lord and they worshipped the Lord.

Hannah’s Prayer of Thanksgiving
Hannah begins to pray. The whole prayer is quite good. I will not read the whole thing, just portions of it. I Samuel 1:27, “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.” She really experienced the Lord being her Rock. If you read the psalms of David you will often see him talking about being on a Rock, meaning he is in a secure place with the Lord. When you are in God’s presence, you are really secure.

Hannah prayed this prayer in Shiloh, a city in Samaria, Israel.

Trunk of Ancient Olive Tree in Jerusalem Israel

Trunk of Ancient Olive Tree in Jerusalem, Israel

Picking up Hannah’s prayer again in I Samuel 2:3, “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. 5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: He bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and He hath set the world upon them. 9 He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.” Notice it’s not by might, but by prayer. Verse 10  ”The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall He thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and He shall give strength unto His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.”

Hannah asked God for something and God answered her prayer. Samuel is his name, which means, “God answers prayer”.

Trees in the Bible

There are many places in the Bible that talk about trees. Let’s start with the two most significant. This picture is one of the most beautiful trees I photographed while in Israel about two years ago.  Over 100 Bible verses mention or use, the word “tree“.

Beautiful Tree in Israel

Beautiful Tree in Israel, Near the Sea of Galilee

Psalms 52:8, But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

Psalms 104:16, The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that He planted.

Isaiah 55:12, … shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Galatians 3:13, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

The tree of life is first mentioned in Genesis chapter 2. Then the last mention is in the last book of the Bible, Revelation chapter 22.   Genesis 2:9, And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; and the tree of life, in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Revelation 22:2, In the midst of its street, and of the river, on this side and on that side, the tree of life, producing twelve fruits, in each month yielding its fruit; and the leaves of the tree for healing of the nations.

The next passage I want to talk about is John 15:1-2, where the word “tree” is not mentioned, but John does use the word, “vine”.  To me the words “tree” and “vine” are closely related.   John 15:1-2.  “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”  John uses the words vine, vinedresser, branch and fruit.

To me the vine and tree indicates that God wants us to have an intimate close relationship with Him so that our Christan life flows out of His life. More about this later. But in John 15:7 is a great Bible verse on prayer, “If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall come to pass to you”.

John 15:16, You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and have set you that ye should go and that ye should bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide, that whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Notice the relationship between “tree“and “fruit” in Matthew.  Matthew 12:33, Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.

Here are some more great Bible verses which contain the word “tree“.

Revelation 22:19, And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Revelation 2:7, He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of  the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Two Trees, Chorazin Israel

Two Beautiful Trees, Chorazin, Israel

What Happens When We Die

What Happens When We Die – in simplicity, we actually meet God.

Chorazin, Israel – north of the Sea of Galilee

What Happens When We Die – Chorazin, Israel – north of the Sea of Galilee

Look at the pictures above and below of Chorazin, Israel, a Bible city, in northern Galilea. The city is a few miles from Capernaum on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. The city is also called Korazin. Jesus talked about Chorazin in both the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Today no one lives in this ancient city, the residents (as far as we know) have all died. What happened to each of them after death?

God, on His calendar has a date for our birth and a date for our death. It is usually non-negotiable, at least I know of few who been able to change those dates. Life and death is in the hands of God.   Death is unknown to us, it just happens.

Here is one of Jeremiah’s Prayer in Jeremiah 23, I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Read more in the article:  What Happens When I Die.

Chorazin, Israel - north of the Sea of Galilee

Jeremiah’s Prayer – a man’s life is not his own – picture of Chorazin, Israel – north of the Sea of Galilee