Rock Garden


But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. (Deuteronomy 11:11)

Maybe the climate has changed over 2500 years. Maybe God was prone to exaggeration in his promotional material. Maybe the string of irresponsible tenants have left the place trashed. Maybe it’s simply an acquired taste. I don’t know. What I do know is that, with few exceptions, the so-called Holy Land looks more like Death Valley than milk and honey.

The Bible describes the Promised Land as a Garden of Eden. According to the Scripture this swatch of real estate is “the place of abundance” and “the land which is God’s gift.” There is definitely an abundance there. There’s an abundance of dust, rock, and more violence and tension than divorce court.  And if this place is a divine gift, I’m thinking God would have done better just getting a gift card. As far as I can tell, God’s affection for the place is akin to a taste for wisdom tooth removal.

No wonder folks who live there are chronically grumpy. Dust in your Cheerios isn’t going to contribute to a happy day. If you live long enough in a place like that your sense of reality gets a bit distorted. I lived in inner-city Los Angeles for a couple of years. It was dry cement as far as the eye could see. Morning’s were fragrant with the smell of exhaust and urine. One belated weekend I took a break in the mountains. I was surprised by the color green; I had forgotten that LA was only a scar in the world, not the whole world itself. My growly attitude gave way to contentment. Green!  Green!  Green! When I reluctantly returned from my nano-vacation, I couldn’t believe how ugly the place was. I was quickly re-assimilated, however. In a matter of days I wanted to kill somebody or pee in an alley. LA sucks.

I’ve never visited the Holy Lands. I have no desire to travel thousands of miles to see block houses, crowded markets, commercialized grottoes, or Israeli military beat cops bristling with lethal hardware. For an authentic spiritual experience, I’d rather do the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. At least there, if I get bored watching Jesus get crucified three times a day, I can hop on over to Disney World for some real action.

If I were the Jews I’d sell the place to the Palestinians and buy Cuba. But even the Palestinians only want the property because the Jews have it. I have a feeling those Arab guys would turn right around and sell it off to the Chinese for a tidy profit. After a few years the Chinese will want to unload it too and the Jews could probably get it back for pennies on the dollar.

Look. If you’re one of those Messianic Yeshua people or simply need a religious fix, my recommendation is to save your money and spend a couple of days in Needles. That will cure you. And if it doesn’t, Vegas is only an hour or so away.


One Response

  1. Yeah, I’ve never been inclined to visit the Holy Land for the same reasons you’ve mentioned.

    Imagine how much trouble would have been saved if the Jews had just accepted the land offered them in South America instead of setting up again in Israel. I think being sandwiched in between Brazil and Argentina would have done a world of good to the people who gave us Leviticus.

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