Ep #489_”Where” Matters, The Place of the Bible – Premium Content

“Where” matters, because places make people, and people matter. Where they live tells us many things about who they are. God’s purpose to call out from the world a people for himself began to unfold on a particular part of the world’s surface during a particular period of the world’s history. That purpose continued unto the Incarnation, which happened in that same part of the world. Almost every one of the Bible’s human authors lived in the Holy Land for some period of time. Almost all were Jewish. It is not possible to understand the Bible’s people, its meaning, or its message without some knowledge of its historical and geographical setting.  

God revealed Himself in a particular time, to a particular race of people, at a particular geographical location. Just like He did in the times and people of the Scriptures, God wants to speak to us through our own time, work, relationships, and geographical location. But to understand His ways with us, we must understand His ways with them. For that, we must know something of the when and where and through whom it all happened. We must be able to visualize the places, because the people and time and land constitute the arena in which God chose to uniquely speak, act, and intervene.

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LOVE the Word® is a Bible study method based on Mary’s own practice: lectio without the Latin. Get the book based on Sonja’s method in the right margin, How to Pray Like Mary.  

L | Listen (Receive the Word via audio or video.)

O | Observe (Connect the passage to your life and recent events.)

What is your “promised land”? Is it healing? Financial freedom? A restored relationship? Children coming home to the Church? How far have you come? How far is left to go? What can you discern that the Holy Spirit wants you to know about your promised land?  

Perhaps you’d like to make a virtual pilgrimage to a site in the Holy Land. Why do you think it’s important for people to make such pilgrimages?

V | Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)

Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word® journal. Or, get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.

E | Entrust (Rest in the Word.)

May it be done to me according to  your Word. Amen +

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What We Discussed | Show Notes


Minutes 00:00-12:00 – Jesus wants you to know His “place”

Minutes 12:01-24:00 – overview of the languages of the Bible and its authors; the olive and fig trees

Minutes 24:01-36:00 – people of the Land; the belly button of the world; Palestine and Israel

Minutes 36:01-48:00 – overview of the geographic locations and some of their familiar stories

Maps and Resources

Get a printable pdf of the maps, below, here.

“If the firstfruit [of Judaism] is holy, then the lump [of Christianity] is holy; and if the root is holy then so are the branches” (Rom 11:16). We Christians are “grafted in” to the olive tree of faith (vs 17).

“God created the world like an embryo. Just as the embryo begins at the navel and continues to grow from that point, so too the world. The Holy One, blessed be he, began the world from its navel. From there it was stretched hither and yon. Where is its navel? Jerusalem. And its (Jerusalem’s) navel itself? The altar.” (“Navel In Popular Culture”. 2016. Wikipedia. Accessed July 6 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navel_in_popular_culture#cite_ref-136.)

The Philistines are first mentioned in the Bible as descendants of Noah (Gen 10:14).

The Promised Land was “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Ex 3:8) and “the most glorious of all lands” (Ez 20:6,15). A single cluster of grapes so heavy that it had to be carried by two men (Num 13:23-24).

A popular expression denoting the land from north to south was “from Dan to Beersheba” (Judg20:1, 1 Sam 3:20, 1 Kin 4:25).

The “rose of Sharon” (Is 35:2).

The temple was built, destroyed, and rebuilt on the temple mount in Jerusalem on the very site on Mt. Moriah where Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac (Gen 22:2 & 2 Chron 3:1).

Jewish tradition (Zech 14:4) that when the Messiah comes, the resurrection of the dead will begin there. And so it did: The Mount of Olives is where Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 1:11-12).

It is thought that the stench, desolation, salt, and pitch fires that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah were caused by a volcanic eruption and earthquake on the fault line in this area (Gen 19:24-29).

Israel’s kings kept a fleet of ships to trade with Africa and Asia by sea (1 Kin 9:26) in imports of “gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks” (1 Kin 10:22).

The caravan of Ishmaelites that bought young Joseph from his jealous brothers was traveling on “the King’s Highway” trade route from Gilead to Egypt on camels loaded with spices, balms, and myrrh (Gen 37:25).


Click here for a transcript of the show.