Mount Carmel and Elijah’s Place of Burning Leave a Lasting Lesson

Elijah’s question to Israel remains a question we too should answer.

Even when God allows hard times in our lives, He means to draw us back to Him. Elijah’s question to Israel on Mount Carmel remains a question we too should answer and apply.

Mount Carmel and the Place of Burning

(Photo: Fires on Mount Carmel in 2010, by יחידה אווירית משטרת ישראל CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I’ll never forget the images of Mount Carmel’s scorching flames in December 2010. The largest fire in Israel’s history billowed so much smoke that a NASA satellite could photograph it. In addition to the tragic loss of life—both human and animal—the devastating inferno destroyed 5 million trees.

While reading about the fire in the news, I thought about the scenic overlook on Mount Carmel I have visited many times. The name of the place is Muhraqa, which means, ironically, “burning.”

Fortunately, most of Mount Carmel’s beautiful historic sites (including Muhraqa) escaped the 2010 forest fire. Beauty untouched beside utter devastation.

In a land where water is life, the lushness of Mount Carmel came to represent nothing less than the blessing of God.

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How Biblical Geography and Botany Can Help Your Marriage

God reveals affirmation as key to a healthy relationship.

The Bible speaks often of marriage. After all, God began the human race with it. His first command to the man and woman, “Be fruitful and multiply,” required the physical union the Song of Songs extols.

The Rose of Sharon along Israel's coast

(Photo: The Rose of Sharon along Israel’s coast, by Gideon Pisanty [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

In the Song of Songs, inspired discretion veils the couple’s erotic conversations behind beautiful metaphors. But the veiled metaphors do more than merely make the book readable for all ages. They offer a model of what all marriages need to do in order to remain strong.

God inspired metaphors of biblical geography and botany to highlight one of the most important aspects in any healthy marriage.

It’s something your marriage needs.

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See the Jezreel Valley from 4 Panoramic Places

You'll see more than land here. You'll see life.

Most visitors to Israel see the sprawling panorama of the Jezreel Valley only from atop the monastery of Muhraqa on Mount Carmel. This vantage remains one of the best, to be sure.

See the Jezreel Valley from 4 Panoramic Places

(Photo: Jezreel Valley from Mount Carmel. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

But there are a number of other views of the valley that also find their place in the Bible.

These high spots also offer a good view of life, and I’ll give a one-sentence application from each site.

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Mount Carmel—Three Passes Along the International Highway

We live in an age in which traveling great distances no longer proves a challenge. Modern transportation requires little more than a basic understanding of road signs and airline gates (which somehow I still seem to miss).

Consequently, we feel little need to know much about geography. And yet, geography played a critical role in ancient Israel.

Mount Carmel—Three Passes Along the International Highway

(Photo: The modern highway still follows the Megiddo Pass. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

God placed the land of Israel in a position as the only intercontinental land bridge between the superpowers of the ancient world. The strategic International Highway, sometimes called the Great Trunk Road or the Via Maris (“Way of the Sea”), ran from the Fertile Crescent all the way to Egypt—the full length of the land of Israel.

For us today, a good stick of dynamite takes care of the traveling problems that challenged those who journeyed through Israel.

No place illustrates this better than Mount Carmel.

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