Get your Google maps out, guys and gals! We’re going on a virtual adventure! Before I moved to Thailand, my perception of the lands in the Middle East were all based on what I’d seen (or paid attention to anyway) on the news. Now, the news generally reports on war and tragedy, and I’m not dogging the media in any way, shape or form. Reporting these events is a journalists’ job. However, if those are the only clips people like me ever see of lands like these, then our views tend to be that the Middle East is a really hot, dusty desert land riddled with rubbles of blown-up buildings. That’s not a nice picture. And it’s not the media’s fault that we as humans don’t do a little more digging into what it’s really like in present-day Israel, which is where the 12 tribal reps ventured in today’s reading. They found all kinds of good stuff! I think if you do a Google and scroll through some photos of these areas, you’ll see there is still lots of good stuff there today – LOTS! As for the Israelite inspectors, along with gigantic bunches of grapes, they also found a gigantic bunch of people – literal giants, the descendants of Anak. If you were with us way back in Genesis, you’ll remember discussing the possibility that some people groups survived on the Ark due to the ancestral line of Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Here we see where that very well could have been true! I’m fascinated by the thought of giants living on the Earth. If you know the story of David and Goliath – and never thought of Goliath as a one of Anak’s dudes – I hope you’ll read the story differently now.
I wanted to note also, that of the 12 tribal representatives that went out to explore Canaan, only one (Caleb) came back and spoke with confidence about being able to take the land. Keep an eye out for young Caleb in the future. The other 11, or so it seems, not only tell Moses that Canaan is a scary place, but they also spread a rumor – some FAKE NEWS! – around camp that the whole land was filled with big, mean giants, and therefore, all was hopeless. Now, one of those 11 was Hoshea, or Joshua, son of Nun. We should make a little mental note of this guy, too.
Writing prompt: land of milk and honey
I was serious about Googling present-day Israel. Ain’t one of you got an excuse not to neither because you’re all reading this online, so I know you know how to Google. Start with Jerusalem, and work your way through images from the Dead Sea all the way to Tel Aviv. Write about what you see.