Today, we visited the scene of a crime. It actually is one of the primary reasons I came to Israel. Next week’s Congress is vitally important in the process of restoring the whole House of Israel, but today was a required prerequisite. Without returning to the scene of the crime committed by our fathers against the Holy One of Israel, all of next week’s efforts would be for nought.
Today, we visited the ruins of the ancient temple build by Jeroboam at Tel Dan. The facts of the crime are simple:
In order to cement his new kingdom and kingship he,
- Established a new priesthood
- Established new holydays
- Redefined God with gods.
Sound familiar? Kinda like what Christendom did… new priesthood/religion, new holidays, redefined God… Same script, different day, but it was a crime committed against the Holy One of Israel and His Standard of Righteousness.
Earlier today, we reviewed some of the verses in Scripture that set the precedent for repenting on behalf of our selves and our fathers. In returning to the scene of the original crime against the Covenant Maker, I/we went with the purpose of repenting.
I had been dreading and looking forward to the trip for weeks, knowing this was a significant step for me and my family and all those whom I represent. As we walked into the park, I was anxious to get there, and a bit emotional on the hike to the ruins. What I say in the ancient ruins, when I turned the final corner, was shocking in its cold and calculated reality. Man does what man wants to do, God be damned.
How many animals were sacrificed on that hill to pagan demon gods by well intentioned people? How many children burned in the lap of the cherry red potbellied laughing pagan deity of that region? (Look it up!) How many temple prostitutes and other abominations occurred on that and surrounding hills in the name of YHVH? It makes me ill to even consider, yet that is the reality of the rebellion we have participated in by refusing to do “Bible things in Bible ways.”
We took the time to walk around and each quietly take in the scene before gathering on the step between the altar and the holy place under the shade of a large tree. Someone noted that the breeze and temperatures were perfect for a most gorgeous day, yet the setting perfectly ruined it as all our hearts were burning. I took a stroll beyond the wire and spit on the innermost courts pictured above. I wanted to do more to express my disgust and repudiation, but the presence of ladies and not wanting an “international incident” fueled by an unhappy antiquities department, caused me to refrain.
Once gathered, Hanoch reminded us of I Kings 12 and the precipitation of this event. (Later, Hanoch would say to me, “It is amazing that this event changed the course of world history so dramatically. No war. No neon newsworthy moment. Just quiet political expediency.”) Next, I read some of the verses from earlier today and led off a passionate prayer time for all of us.
As we finished, I reminded our group of Yehovah’s anger in Ezekiel 8 at those who turned their back to the temple to face the rising sun for worship. Taking a cue from that passage, we turned our backs on the altar at Dan, faced Jerusalem, and sang the Shema as well as several praise songs in both Hebrew and English. As the last few remained worshiping, I slipped back for my camera to remember the moment.
Walking away from Dan felt so good. I was a hundred pounds lighter in my soul and whistled joyfully back down the trail. As Yehovah hears the growing cries of repentance from His people, He will make good on His covenant and remember the Land. We pray that process begin next week at the First Ephramite National Congress.
A side note: During our discussion and prayer time, another group wandered onto the site. I walked over to introduce myself and ask if they were Messianic (I had a hunch/leading). Turns out they are and had had Hanoch speak at their fellowship before, so they stayed for part of the time we prayed for repentance.