by Gordon Franz
There is a popular bracelet, which some Christians wear, that has the inscription WWJD, which stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” The Lord Jesus was the Master Teacher. He would often use object lessons to illustrate His parables, sermons, and discourses in order to reinforce the spiritual lessons that He was trying to convey to His disciples and the multitudes. For example, He used sheep (Matt. 18:7-14; Luke 15:3-7), coins (Luke 15:8-10), a little child (Matt. 18:2), and even a dragnet (Matt. 13:47-51).
He also used the geography of the location where He was at to drive home a point. One time when He was on the Temple Mount dialoguing with the Pharisees about the Patriarch Abraham, He stated that “your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad!” (John 8:56) ¹. The day that Jesus was referring to was when Abraham offered up his only son Isaac on a mountain in the Land of Moriah (Gen. 22:1-14; cf. Heb. 11:17-19), called in Jewish tradition Akedah, or the “binding of Isaac.” The Temple of Solomon, and later Herod’s Temple where Jesus and the Pharisees were discussing Abraham, was built on Mount Moriah (2 Chron. 3:1).
If Jesus and His disciples stopped to refresh themselves at the springs below the ruined city of Hazor, what spiritual lessons might He have taught His disciples from the history of Hazor? Contemplate these verses.
[For the possibility that Jesus and His disciples visited Hazor, see “Jesus at Hazor” by Gordon Franz]
- Read Josh. 11:1-15. Joshua captured and burned Hazor with fire. Why did God instruct the Israelites to hamstring the Canaanite horses and burn their chariots after their victory over the Canaanites (11:6)?
- Read Judges 4 and 5. God used Deborah and Barak to destroy Jabin, the king of Canaan, who reigned at Hazor (4:2, 24). General Barak was afraid to go out to battle against the Canaanite forces unless Deborah went with him. Contemplate how God uses even fearful servants when they (fearfully) act in faith (cf. Heb. 11:32).
- Read 1 Kings 9:15. King Solomon fortified Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer. Why did he fortify those cities? By fortifying those cities, did Solomon trust the Lord to protect his kingdom?
- Read 1 Kings 5:1-12. King Solomon was good friends with Hiram, the Phoenician king of Tyre. During the Second Temple period, the Phoenicians of Kedesh did not get along with their Jewish neighbors in Galilee. How might Jesus have used Solomon and Hiram’s friendship to temper His disciples’ fears, or prejudices, about going to Tyre? Hint: Consider Matt. 5:9 and 15:21-31.
- Read 1 Kings 16:28-22:40. King Ahab extended the fortifications of Hazor to the eastern part of the upper city as well as digging a huge water system. The Bible devotes six chapters to the life of this king, yet it does not mention his great building activities until after he died (22:39). He is described as doing “more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him (16:33).” How would God view Ahab’s great building activities in light of his idolatry?
- Read the book of Amos, Isa. 2:5-22, and Zech. 14:5. There is archaeological evidence at Hazor that attests to a strong and violent earthquake in the mid-eighth century BC. This earthquake was prophesied by the prophet Amos two years before it occurred (1:1). The prophet Zechariah reflected on this event long after it occurred. What message might God have been trying to communicate to His people by this mighty act?
- Read 2 Kings 15:29; Isa. 9:1-2, 10:5-11, 65:4, 66:17; and Lev. 11:7. Tiglath Pileser III, the ruler of Assyria, invaded the northern kingdom of Israel and destroyed Hazor. Why did God allow this to happen? In the excavations at Hazor, articulated pig bones were discovered. This finding indicates that the Israelites were eating pork right before the fall of the city to the Assyrians. Could there be a connection between this un-kosher act and God’s judgment on Hazor? Why, or why not?
For further information on the Hazor Archaeological Excavation, please visit their website.
 All Scripture quotes from the New King James Version of the Bible.