Israel Up Close: Part 2
by Cynthia L. Simmons
Have you ever gotten sleepy reading any of those unfamiliar Old Testament names? Biblical authors wrote about hard-to-pronounce cities and spoke of people with impossible titles. A trip to Israel cured that for me.
Early in our travels, we visited extensive ruins in the Jezreel Valley called Megiddo. The city protected a pass through Mount Carmel, making that area a strategic fortress. Archaeologists have unearthed about 26 different people groups who occupied the same spot. We climbed over the rubble of a once-sophisticated castle and gazed down into the valley of Armageddon. Our guide pointed out where the city gates stood and where guards would have been placed.
Despising my ignorance, I looked up Megiddo and discovered a lot happened there: Joshua mentions his armies killed the King of Megiddo while conquering the land. In the first chapter of Judges, God gave that area to the tribe of Manasseh. Later, Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanite General Sisera by the waters of Megiddo. During the United Kingdom, Solomon realized Megiddo’s importance and fortified the city. King Josiah of Judah died at Megiddo in a battle. All that and more happened in a place I had never heard of.
Remember how fairy tales start? A long time ago in a city far away…!
In contrast, the Bible shares real stories about places and people who existed. And the Bible gives the proper information about those places and people. Be encouraged. We can trust the Scripture and the message it gives.
Cynthia L. Simmons is the mother of five, award winning author, and past president of Christian Authors Guild. She hosts Heart of the Matter Radio each week, offering women the elegance of God’s wisdom. She conducts writing workshops, has directed writing conferences, and was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year. A retired RN, and a lover of history, she combines history and Scripture to minister to women of all ages, but has a special place in her heart for homeschool mothers and young mothers. She is also a member of AWSA and a frequent speaker at events nationwide.