4 Minute Read + pictures and a video

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

1 Kings 18:1-46
Acts 11:1-30
Psalm 135:1-21
Proverbs 17:12-13

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

1 Kings 18:20-21 (CSB): “So Ahab summoned all the Israelites and gathered the prophets at Mount Carmel. Then Elijah approached all the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him. But if Baal, follow him.’ But the people didn’t answer him a word.”

Acts 11:2-3 (CSB): “When Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, ‘You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.'”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

While there are certainly worthy theological issues that could be addressed and explained in the passages of Scripture that we are reading today, I wanted to take yet another occasion to help orient you to the whereabouts of the stories.

When we read in 1 Kings 18, we realize that the events took place on Mount Carmel. Further, the Mediterranean Sea is visible from the top and western slope of that mountain range (1 Kings 18:42-44).

Then, when we read Acts 11, we realize that Joppa (where Peter had the vision), Caesarea Maritima (where Peter met with Cornelius), and Jerusalem (where the disciples rebuked Peter for going into a Gentile home) are mentioned.

  • Mount Carmel
  • Joppa, Caesarea, & Jerusalem

We may have a tendency to think that these places are worlds apart since the events were separated by about 700 to 800 years. But, they aren’t.

Let me orient you to where these stories took place by showing a map. Then, I’ll show some pictures and a video from Mount Carmel.

Mount Carmel
Source: Google Maps

As you can see in the previous map, Joppa (currently called Jaffa), Caesarea, and Mount Carmel are on the Mediterranean Coastline. Google Maps notes that the trip from Jaffa to Mount Carmel, by way of Caesarea Maritima, is only 98.4 kilometers (61 miles). If you were to hop in a car and drive from Jaffa to Mount Carmel, it would take you a little more than an hour (the map above takes into consideration the bumper-to-bumper traffic in Tel-Aviv at the time I took the screenshot).

Also, we are told in Acts 11:2-3 that Peter went to Jerusalem after his visit to Caesarea. You can see on the map above that it really isn’t that far. In fact, if Peter left Caesarea and went straight to Jerusalem, it would have been about a 70-mile trip.

If you want to see some pictures and videos of Caesarea Maritima and Tel-Aviv/Jaffa, just look at my June 15th entry. I will spend the rest of this blog post showing a few pictures and a video of Mount Carmel.

IMG_5667
Part of the Mount Carmel range as seen from inside a bus on a highway near the Mediterranean coastline.
IMG_5668
A statue of Elijah killing a prophet of Baal.
IMG_5671
View from the top of Mount Carmel. From the place that I took this picture, the Mediterranean Sea is behind me (although I couldn’t see it from our location). The valley of Jezreel (where Armageddon will be fought) in before me.

Finally, here is a video I took from atop Mount Carmel.