Historical Footprints in the Sands of Time
Was there really a garden of Eden? Was there once a worldwide flood, and an oil tanker size oak-wood boat with all the world’s species on board? Was there really an Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph? Was there really a wandering tribe called Israel in exile in Egypt reduced to slaves by a greedy, power hungry Pharaoh? Was one of these Israelites by a “grand chess move” really elevated to “Pharaoh to be?”
Did this Moses personage actually rebel against power lust and flee into the great wilderness surrounding the small nucleus of Egyptian civilisation? Did he eventually actually return, to lead these slaves into a national movement of religious revival and non-cooperation, culminating in a massive exodus of 2-3 million of them? Did they actually go into the wilderness? which wasn’t totally desertified yet in those days! But regardless, how did these millions of refugees ever survive? And did they actually go the route of the beach of the Gulf of Aqaba finger of the Red Sea? Were they indeed pursued by by Pharaoh’s chariot army?
The 666 Dollar question is, “Did the sea actually open” with a strong Eastern wind revealing the underwater land bridge there as pathway where these Israelites walked across to the Saudi side? Did the chariots of Pharaoh pursue them into the sea bed? And , were they actually buried under the waves and sand?
How did the Israelites survive 80 years in the desert of Arabia? Did they really cross the Jordan river as by dry land? Did Joshua lead them into what they call “the promised land” until this very day? Did the walls of Jericho actually fall down outward and instantly into the desert sand as discovered, after they were surrounded 7 times by Israelite marches and fanfare?
Did Joshua really exist, and seven judges and fourteen prophets leading this peculiar nation, this Middle Eastern desert tribe called Israel? Did their national book report actual history? Or were these mere legends or myths dished up night after desert night to media-starved peasants and hunters, by opinionated imaginative story tellers greatly adding to the accumulative record, until they became bloated monstrosities of what may have had a tiny core of historicity? Like the Iliads and Odyssey?
Does this Bible report factual history or is it a myth carried around by a recalcitrant mountain tribe that antagonised their neighbours, even when their religious authorities and priesthood virtually rejected and dismissed this old testament of their desert god to them, after they had been exiled for 70 years to Babylon for their sins, where they picked up the local religion and sorcery and created a new set of myths and religious banter of Talmudic proportions. Were they indeed recruited there by Earth’s rebel angels against God to formulate a plan of world conquest after they so thoroughly despised and discarded their God and His original religious authority and even persecuted and killed his prophets?
Did these prophets like Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Jeremy, who warned these rebel Babylonian Pharisees of their future fate, dispersion and doom, really exist? Or were they also figments of the imaginations of fanatic frantic religious zealots and idiots of this mountain tribe? These Messianic predictions in their original history book of laws and prophets, the Torah, were they really true? Were they really predated that long before these predictions suddenly began to materialise before this mountain tribe’s eyes in the form of a personage that shook that nation’s ruler already as infant!
Was the local Arab King Herod really so mesmerised by the reports of three wise stargazers from far away eastern kingdoms who disquieted him with astrological reports and projections that a baby king was to be born into his kingdom but not into his family? Did he really massacre hundreds of infants of up to two years old in Bethlehem?
Did he himself observe the star these wise men pointed out and followed? Did he get possessed by the dark side to eliminate an entire generation of one town’s babies? Or was his premeditated murder of innocents in Bethlehem a myth as well? Was there a Bethlehem at all? Or was this town just an embodiment and result of mythical legends?
And did this dreaded baby actually grow up in secrecy for three years in Egypt, and twenty seven years in a podunk village, only to emerge as religious carpenter in another village called Kana Lebanon, where he purportedly turned water into wine? Did all the recorded miracles and hard speeches of eternal sayings from this man actually happen?
Did this New Testament from this purported God of Israel actually arise from the sayings and activities of this demigod called Yeshua of Nazareth? Or was all that just a figment of the imagination from Machiavellian religious fanatics led by a Roman Emperor wanting to cement his own version of a religious Rome?
Was Constantine indeed a power-hungry codifier of those New Testament canonical gospels? Or had there really been a new religious movement led by twelve intimate followers of this carpenter Yeshua who wrote it all down within the first century, even though few of the original manuscripts have remained to this day?
Whether we believe which answers to all these questions, seems moot! Whether myth or truth, legend or historicity, the airwaves, TV channels, Hollywood and mainstream mass media, and not the least the glowing, growing new medium of the Internet, is rife with debate, arguments for and against, yea, full-scale war and conflict about the answers to these questions. Buses in the very financial center of the world London, carry negative answers to some of these questions in blazing advertisements that “God does not Exist!”
More than ever before the World seems to be split over such questions, that it seems whipped up out of proportions! The polite debate of erudite scholars of yesteryear is now overtaken by a wild ferocious melee of bitter critique, crossfire, antagonism, and ad hominem attacks, yea even threats of violence, if not the perspective of war!
How about answers to all these questions? If there really exists a God of the universe, then as ambiguous as the answers themselves, He has left us mere empty prints where His feet have trod through the ‘Sands of Time’, either to be believed by faith or to be dismissed by doubt at the individual whims or discretion of Man.
Nothing of the Garden of Eden, a mere semblance of a ship-shape on the mountains of Ararat and some corroborating place names and artifacts in Armenia, Abraham’s name discovered on Sumerian clay tablets, coins with of Joseph’s inscription and his tentative grave were discovered in Egypt and a bone memorial in Israel! No grave of any Moses was discovered, who was reported to have died on the mountain! No footsteps of Israelies were discovered in the Sinai desert, yet chariot wheels and bones of men and horses were found on a land bridge under the Red Sea Gulf of Aqaba, flanked by memorial pillars erected by Solomon.
No bone box of Jesus, but he left us a “T-shirt” with his photo in the form of the hotly debated Shroud of Turin, the only cloth in history that has a photographic image printed on it almost 2000 years before the advent of photography!
And then there is a plethora of Biblical artifacts in Palestine witnessing to many details of the Biblical record. But proof? It still seems to totally depend on what we want to believe! I guess that is the way the One who left us His empty footprints in the Sands of Time, prefers it to be.
The artifacts are there, but like empty imprints, the sandals or feet themselves are missing, and always will be, in this life! And so some surmise that the footprints were crafted by mal-intent of fanatic religionists trying to convince themselves and others, bent on confusing and dividing multiple generations of humans left in limbo, whileothers think them to simply be true.
And this way no one is forced by facts and able to easily dismiss them as mind-screwers. We can believe them only if we desire and want to believe in a just, fair, equitable, loving God, who prefers to conceal himself behind the curtains of history. You can dismiss them or believe Him! By giving us just enough clues, or as others would say by giving us too few, He granted us real choice!
He doesn’t want to beat us over the head. The choice is yours! If you could prove the answers to these questions, you wouldn’t have to believe! There would be no choice! And I guess that’s what it’s all about. He prefers to continue to be the “Mystery of God” until His very Revelation, as He said, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7.
But believers remember the simple words of the old Arab Bedouin, who, when asked if he believes there is a God, said, “If I wake up in the morning and see footprints around my tent, I know that someone was there. And so when I look at life and the world He made, I just KNOW that there is a God!