|GOOD BOOKS Attention all Biblical Archaeology buffs! We have recently accessioned more books that will make our archaeology holdings more complete. We recommend for your reading three titles: A Panorama of the Holy Land, by Jon Arnold and Stephen Sizer (Guildford, Surrey: Eagle, 1973); Regions on the Run. Introductory Map Studies in the Land of the Bible, by James M. Monson (Rockford, Illinois: Biblical Foundations, 1998); The Changing Land Between the Jordan and the Sea. Aerial Photographs From 1917 to the Present, by Benjamin Z. Kedar (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Press, 1999). The first book (Panorama) gives some stunning photographs of the length and breadth of Palestine and also of Egypt. Ones gets an I-MAX feeling as one looks at the various representative landscapes of the Bible Lands. Regions on the Run is meant for serious students of the physical geography of the Bible Lands. There are very clear colour maps, with copious historical explanations, and biblical cross-references. One blessing of a Bible land tour is that it enables a person to have a spatial perspective when reading the Bible, e.g., one is able to sense what it must be like for Jesus and His disciples to traverse the distance from Jerusalem to the Galilee and vice versa. Well, this book is designed for arm-chair Bible travellers who can obtain this perspective without having to travel to Israel. The Changing Land is a fascinating book to me and to all who have travelled to Israel at one time or another. It is exciting to look at the aerial photographs of biblical and modern sites in Israel and be able to say, "I was there at that spot!" One can visualize what cannot be easily seen from land, short of getting into a helicopter and peering down from the air. The aerial views captured in this book are of great historical value. They were taken by the Israel Defence Force and are now released for all to see what only the air crew can see from the air. We can see, e.g., the southern end of Caesarea Maritima as a conspicuous tell before the Roman Amphitheatre was uncovered. Also we can discern the outline of King Herod the Greatís harbour, now sunken, and feel the throb of the Apostle Paulís heart as he sailed out of or returned to this famous harbour on his numerous missionary journeys. (QSH)|
We wish all these who celebrate their birthdays this week Godís richest blessings
Mr Soh Boon Leng Kessler 02/20
|God told Joshua, "Be strong and courageous" (Josh 1:6 &
9), and "Be strong and very courageous" (1:7). But hadnít Joshua already
proven his strength and courage when he fought the Amalekites at Rephidim
Since God told Joshua three times to be courageous in Joshua 1, we eagerly read Chapter 2 to see how courageous Joshua was. But all Chapter 2 reveals is how he sent two spies to recce the land around Jericho. Hmm, why only two men when Moses sent 12? Did Joshua realize that only two of the 12 (he himself was one of the two) gave a true report on their return? Had Joshua learnt a lesson that two were enough? Or did Joshua the fighter realize that two spies attract less attention than 12?
How courageous was Joshua in Chapter 3? There, he told the priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord to stand in the flooded River Jordan. Wow! Have you ever seen a big river in flood, moving so fast that it can push down trees and houses? Would you step into such a river and risk being swept away and killed? Did the priests step into the river? See Josh 3:15.
As soon as the priests stepped into the river, it stopped flowing! The Israelites crossed on dry land to the other side. Imagine you are a priest standing in the middle of the dried-up river that just a few minutes ago had been in flood. What would you be thinking? How dry the river bed is? Or when would the flood waters come rushing back? How long would it take for over two million Israelites to cross the river? From dawn to dusk? Twelve hours just standing on the riverbed, knowing that the flood waters could come rushing down with pent-up power at any time? Hey, werenít those priests real courageous fellows?
Isnít it how we the royal priesthood must be today, standing in harmís way while the people being saved cross over into the kingdom of God? Or did you think that being a Christian means always taking the safest route, doing the safest thing and never having to be courageous? Say, if the priests were doing the courageous thing, why did God tell Joshua to be courageous?
Let us picture Joshua standing on the river bank, watching the whole of Israel cross the river. Did he not know that if the flood waters swept down again, the priests would be killed and the precious ark of the covenant would be smashed and destroyed? Wasnít he tempted to order the priests to dry land where they and the ark would be safe?
But look what happened when the priests stepped out of the river. "No sooner had they set their feet on dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before" (Josh 4:18). If Joshua had let the priests cross over, wouldnít many Israelites have been washed away? So that day Joshua who had physical courage had to learn moral courage, the courage to do the right thing no matter what!