The land where Jesus lived has endured violent hostilities throughout the centuries. Today, it’s Israelis versus Palestinians, Jews versus Muslims versus Armenians. Prejudice and hatred are evident everywhere. Pilgrims are treated well because we provide much money into the economy, but many residents, since childhood, are taught to fear and to cause fear in their enemies. Passersby in the streets treat each other with distrust, and even the pilgrims unconsciously pick up this atmosphere. There is little eye contact and fewer smiles, that is, until we decide to overcome it.

It is no wonder, then, that early on our journey we pass through Armageddon, the Valley of Jezreel. It’s a vast place. Tel Megido is the brown hill in the photo. “Tel” means an archeological hill, a man-made mound. Megido was a Canaanite town 4,000 years ago.

Brown hill of Tel Megido

“Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (REV 16:13-16)

Lord, help me to forgive my enemies and thus stay awake in Your love and be clothed in Your goodness. Amen!

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