May 26, 2016
There are so many things in our life that we take for granted. Stop and think about it. There are so many conveniences that did not exist during biblical days that we have today, that we just accept as being normal. We’ve had them all our lives so we don’t even give them a second thought. They have always been there, since we were born and we have never stopped to think what it would be like without them.
In biblical days, most of the people lived in tents and caves before they started building and settling towns and cities. They moved around constantly from one area to another all year long, never settling in one place. They constantly needed to find grazing grounds for their cattle and sheep because they had not yet learned how to plant seed they could eat. They had to locate water for their herds and their families, and planted crops in certain areas, harvested them, and then moved on.
They slept on the ground or on mats. They sat on the ground, on tree stumps or on rocks. When they ate, they all sat in a circle around the food and dipped their hands into the dishes. They cooked over open fires and often ate just the food they could forage along the way. When they started settling down on small farms and in villages, they lived in huts made of mud bricks but they still slept on the ground on mats, sat on stumps, rocks or the ground.
They didn’t have beds, dressers, couches, chairs or tables. Food would be stored in basket or in carved out shelves in the walls. An oven was often built out in the yard for baking the bread and the animals usually stayed inside the shed with the owners at night time. I guess that is what you could call really roughing it.
Today I am thankful for the furniture we have. Soft beds to sleep on, up off the floor away from bugs and rodents, soft chairs and couches to sit on, tables to put our food on, refrigerators to keep the food fresh, cabinets to store the food, stoves and ovens for cooking and so many other pieces that we have around the house that are just taken for granted because, after all, they have always been present in our lives.
May 27, 2016
People in biblical times would often go to the market. The market was normally situated in the center of the village or town. There you could buy different foods, meats, vegetables, spices and fruits for the most part. You could stop at the carpenters shop to order something fixed or made for you. You might even stop at the silver shop to pick up a bowl or utensil of some sort. You might stop at a weavers shop to see about having cloth woven for you.
Six days a week you could go this market to sell and to buy. On the seventh day everything was closed. No businesses were open of any kind. It was strictly against the law because the seventh day was a holy day, it was a day of rest. It was a time spent talking and learning about god, spending time with family and resting from all the work that needed to be done the rest of the week. Women did not even cook or bake on this day. They would prepare an extra days worth of meals the day before.
Today we are a spoiled race. We no longer have to weave diapers for out children, we can just run to the store and pick up a box of Pampers. We no longer have to go milk a cow so baby can be fed, we just run down to the corner and pick up a carton of milk. If we run out of something for dinner, we can run to the store and grab that missing item or if we just want something special, all the large stores are normally open and in the bigger cities there is a convenience store every few blocks.
Today I am thankful for how much easier our lives are made by convenience stores and grocery stores.
May 28, 2016
It is only 91 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem. It is 110 miles from Egypt to Canaan. If a person walked from Nazareth to Jerusalem at an average of 15 miles a day it would take the 4-5 days, maybe longer because they would have to stop to rest, eat and stay somewhere for the night. If they walked from Egypt to Canaan at the same pace it would take 7 ½ days and more because of all the stops on the way.
When Moses led the people out of Egypt, they could have been in Canaan in just a couple weeks. It would have taken them longer that 7 ½ days because of the herds of sheep and cattle, the wagons of goods and belongings and the number of people traveling, but because they sinned against God by building an idol, they were destined to wander in the wilderness for forty years until the original generation had died off.
If you drove today from Nazareth to Jerusalem, it would only take you a few hours. The same can be said for driving from Egypt to Canaan. If you flew from Cairo, Egypt to Jerusalem it would only take 30 to 45 minutes.
Today we travel at 60-70 miles per hour on our highways and freeways. We can go across the whole state in just a few hours, or visit relatives in another state within a two day ride. We can fly across the country in less than one day.
We have cars, planes, and trains, buses, transit systems, bicycles, and motorcycles. There are services for the elderly and disabled and taxis for those who don’t drive. There is always some kind of conveyance to get you where you need to go.