Location, location, location . . . If history ever compared the land of Israel to the game of “Monopoly,” the site of Tel Megiddo would be Boardwalk. It was the most coveted spot on the playing board.
Tel Megiddo’s tremendous value came from its strategic location as the sentinel of the most important pass through the Mt. Carmel range.
Whoever held Tel Megiddo in the ancient world controlled the traffic and trade along the International Highway to and from Egypt. That meant both military and financial security.
Taking Megiddo is like capturing a thousand cities. —Pharaoh Thutmose III
Its value simply can’t be exaggerated.
With picks in hand, my wife and I entered a cave in the Bet Guvrin Maresha National Park. The archaeological dig had only recently begun, so our group was one of the first to volunteer.
The low ceiling of the cave forced us to squat while digging.
(Photo: Exploring the Caves in Bet Guvrin Maresha National Park. Photo by James Foo)
I could see the original tool markings still chiseled on the walls of the cave. Everybody was thrilled when my wife unearthed a fully intact jar handle.
I dug up some pottery shards, and examined them closely.
I saw fingerprints on them.
Sometimes the things God gives you seem too hard to hold. The Lord provided prime real estate to the Tribe of Manasseh. But the excellent location proved to be a double-edged sword.
Because the spot was so good, every nation wanted control of Beth Shean. And whoever held it always seemed to contend with those who would wrench it from their grasp.
Perhaps its strategic location gave Beth Shean its name, “House of Security.”
But security only works when you trust in God.
At Tel Arad, the whole land of Canaan lay before the Hebrews. They had waited and wandered forty years in the wilderness. The Promised Land was theirs for the taking. Right there before them!
Instead, God led the Hebrews on a major detour.
Tel Arad in Israel’s Negev offers many benefits to its visitors. It’s an oasis of ancient archaeology. It gives a rare glimpse of Judah’s idolatry.
And it speaks to us today of the need to tap the brakes on our impatience with God’s leading.
The ancient world had a bully system that worked in straightforward terms. A nation would conquer a region and demand tribute—annual payment of money and goods. If you didn’t pay tribute, they’d come and kill you. Pretty simple system.
King Hezekiah refused to pay tribute to the bully. So the Assyrians invaded Judah.
Archaeology has unearthed treasures that reveal Hezekiah’s faith in God.
It may sound odd to travel to the land of the Bible and then go indoors to see a museum. But some museums you can only see in Israel.
Even if you aren’t a “museum person,” this one has stuff in it you should see. Lots of stuff. Especially if you have an interest in the Bible.
While I could mention many of objects of note, I’m reducing it down to 7. I’ll also give a link to its virtual museum. (Cool!)
Here are 7 “must-sees” in Jerusalem’s Israel Museum and—more importantly—why you should care.