As the sun eased it’s way into the Mediterranean horizon Sunday evening, Glenn Beck greeted an enthusiastic crowd of over 3,000 at the Caesarea Amphiteater: “Welcome to the land of milk and honey!”
Beck’s week of “Restoring Courage” events began with a religiously themed evening entitled “The Courage to Love.”
Scroll down for more pictures and for a special slideshow click here
Early in the program Beck was joined on the stage by historian David Barton who told the crowd they were “sitting in the middle of history.”
Grammy-nominated vocalist Vernessa Mitchell was accompanied by an ensemble of Israeli singers and musicians.
In the first half of the program the audience heard passionate remarks by author Mike Evans and Florida pastor Tom Mullins.
Mullins challenged the capacity crowd:
“It’s time for the people of faith to stand with a courage that flows from God’s deep love and defend Israel!
We are gathered in the very spot, where, centuries ago, the faith of the Apostle Paul was put on trial. Paul resolutely refused to compromise the truth of his faith. He stood with great courage and embraced his destiny; and his life had profound, eternal impact on the world.”
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin defined “courage” in contrast with its “fraternal twin” strength:
“Strength is physical prowess: Courage is spiritual sensitivity.
Strength is rooted in selfish self aggrandizement, hell-bent on taking over and dominating “other” on destroying one’s enemy.
Courage is rooted in self sacrifice, Heaven-sent to give to and share with “other” to turn one’s hated enemy into one’s beloved friend.
Strength revels in power.
Courage reaches out in love.”
Indeed, Courage begets and demands love; the very Hebrew word for love Ahava, derives from the root verb HAV which means to give.
Pastor John Hagee spoke just before Beck’s concluding remarks:
“We have come tonight to say to the people of Israel, you are still the apple of God’s eye, you are still the chosen people, you are still the covenant people, you are still cherished the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Beck began his final talk by asking the audience to “Honor these people who have honored God for so long.”
While noting that many in the crowd had come at “great expense,” he praised those who had come at “great risk” to their personal safety.
Mindful that some had predicted the events of “Restoring Courage” would bring “chaos and mayhem,” Beck joked, “It’s the Middle East — how would they know!”
To make it clear that his intention that the week’s events be non-political, Beck declared, “The God of Abraham ain’t running for office.”
“Are you standing where God asks you to stand?” Beck advised everyone present to be prepared to “make a declaration” in a week where he said he expected to see “miracles.”
Here are some pictures from the early moments of the program.
This post will be updated throughout the evening.