Friday, April 4, 2014

Along the Jordan River

John- Stepping into the waters at Yardenit-Yardenit
the place previously thought to be where Jesus was baptized.
(recent excavations point to 
Bethany Beyond the Jordan- future post)
Today it is a popular place for Baptism
 for pilgrims from around the world.

Possibly the place where Naaman,
 the Syrian came to cure his leprosy.
full of people, a gift store, overlaid with hype.
Later, our quiet walk along the Jordan River-
 just a short distance away- was a highlight of our trip.
These are the banks Jesus walked beside.

The Lower Jordan River is the 65 mile portion
 of the Rift Valley
 that stretches from the southern end
 of the Galilee to the Dead Sea.
  The winding path is actually 200 miles
 with twists and turns along the way.

Several rivers flow into the Jordan.
 From the East are Yarmuk and the Jabbok
Fron the West are the Nahal Harod and Wadi Faria

This basin is actually a valley inside another valley.
The outer valley is fertile agricultural land-
talked about in Genesis 13:10 by Abraham's son- Lot

The inner valley- the Zor- contains the actual riverbed.
It is covered with thickets and home to wild animals.
(though we didn't see any)
Old Testament prophets used the Zor
 to symbolize trouble and danger. 
Jeremiah 12:5 asks,
"If you stumble in safe country,
 how will you mange in the thickets by the Jordan?"

Perhaps Naaman looked up at the sky here,
 wondering about the prophet Elisha
 and the instructions to wash himself
 7 times in the Jordan River.
2 Kings 5:1-15
Humble yourself.

Sometimes our earthly journey just makes no sense-
listening for the voice of direction-
unless we listen to the whole heart nudges-
The Holy Spirit calling us to move forward- humbly.
Perhaps this was Naaman's new found- life motto.
Obey- Just do it.

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