The name of God we are focusing on today is Jehovah Raah – Lord, my Shepherd.
Today is Day 4 of what has been one of the most moving moments for me so far. It is challenging to explain what I felt today as I spent time at Shiloh. What began as a tour, for me, turned into a more spiritual and reflective time. Combined with the two stories at Bet sheen and Mount Ghiboa made Shiloh’s experience more moving. Then we enter Jerusalem.
Our first stop was at Bet Shan, a Roman metropolis and a Hellenistic city. This is an exciting place. It is located about 27 km from the Sea of Galilee. The city was rebuilt in 63 BC by the Romans and is known as Scythopolis, Col. 3:11. After King Saul was killed on Mt. Ghiboa, they hung his head at this site. Jesus could have stopped here on His way to Judea. Time of Christ, the man healed of the legion, maybe came here to tell the story. He could have gone to Jordan as well.
Interesting Fact: There are seven levels of Tel that make up this site. We drove past the Golan Heights, West Bank, and the border with Jordan today.
Our next stopped was Mount Gilboa Passing, Gideon spring on our way. This mountain is a mountain range overlooking the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel. It is here that King Saul led the fight against the Philistines – 1 Samuel 28:4. They killed King Saul on this hill. Even though King Saul had the military advantage; He was on the mountain, and the Philistine was in the valley. However, Saul was afraid because God was not with him. With the death of his sons, they ended his royal rule.
Saul had the crown, the ark was with him; he had the positional advantage, but he was afraid. He went to the witch of Endor to seek help. The only time in Scripture that we see a person come back from the dead to give instructions. The witch was a concern because Saul was the same person who had expelled all witches and this man sort her out to ask for directions.
David took his men to Bet Shan and brought back David’s body and burn the body to prevent desecration. David then sang a song of mourning after Saul died. He taught his army to sing that song.
Forgiveness: We should not cheer when our enemies die; we mourn. When there is no possibility of an apology from the person who wronged you, will you rejoice or mourn when they are suffering? The power of forgiveness must rule our lives.
Saul had all the elements identifying with the presence of God, but God rejected him. One concern I have is that whatever I am doing for God that I always seek his anointing. When the Spirit of God departs, all that is left is just rituals. I can be a great orator without anointing. Without the Spirit of God, the emblems or simply only emblems. It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that makes the difference.
The leader of our trip, Pastor Denny Miller, after reading from the scriptures about this story, lead us in a time for prayer and reflection. He challenged us to leave unforgiveness on Mt Gilboa.
My journey here took on a new meaning. The Holy Spirit spoke to me (not in an audible voice) that this is not a tour that I am experiencing. This was a spiritual journey. Having left un-forgiveness on Mt Gilboa I now enter this Holy Place as the old Patriarch would on their way to Jerusalem. As I think about my experience tears are coming to my eyes. Something is going on, and I am listening to the Holy Spirit.
One of the most notable events here involved Eli. His two sons defied the temple and Eli did nothing. Hannah offers a prayer, yearly, for a child. Her husband went annually to provide sacrifices at a place that was corrupted. What if he had stopped taking his wives to Shiloh? Would there be a Samuel? The people came three times to sacrifice at Shiloh.
Do not stop pursuing God, even when there is barrenness. Everything you do as a Christian has a more far-reaching impact on those around you. Who are you preventing from experiencing God because you gave up?
Are you consistent?
Things that you do or don’t do impact others.
God is always seeking to meet with his people, and he desires a relationship with them.
Do not contaminate the holy place.
Shiloh or Mt of Samera is one rich area in Israel. Bethel is also another area of importance associated with Shiloh. Shiloh was the location of the tabernacle in David’s time. The two tribes of Two tribes Efrain and Benjamin were given these areas for inheritance. This is an area of Jewish settlement. For 369 years, Shiloh was where the tabernacle settled. It is believed that those on their way to Jerusalem would stop at Shiloh before continuing to the Holy City.
We left Shiloh and headed to Jerusalem. What a moment, as we were about 15 minutes outside of the Holy City, Pastor Denny lead us into singing some songs about Jerusalem. We sang songs like The Holy City (Jerusalem) as we continue to our stop at the gates. We broke bread and paid before we settle in for the night.
Song: The Holy City (Jerusalem)