After the Exodus, God moved the Israelites into the Plains of Jericho. It was a fragrant place of palm trees, rose gardens, balsam, etc.
The Ark of the Covenant, the priests, and the army led them. It was a relief from years in the desert. A fruitful land, the crops were ready to harvest. What a contrast to the verse today.
Jeremiah 52:8, “They caught up with them in the Plains of Jericho. But by then Zedekiah’s army had deserted and was scattered.” The Message
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“…there has been a clear shift in perception among academics who study ancient, pre-Greek cultures.
Time and time again we hear how ancient cultures were not…primitive and barbaric but rather sophisticated and cultured, based on shockingly high levels of technology and understanding of the night sky.
…the Hebrew authors…keen observers of the world around them, endowed with an insight into the natural world that rivals or even surpasses ours.
The word ruah, [one root word of Jericho],…denotes a collective movement by a general driving force.”
Derived from the same root…riah, meaning to detect or produce a scent or fragrance (Job 39:25, Amos 5:21). The root word rawah II, [the second root word of Jericho],…meaning space, interval or respited, relief.”
God drove the people into exile. The siege lasted so long that they ran out of food. They resorted to cannibalism and became a stench to the ancient world. The army scattered, the Temple burned, and everything of value carried off. The priests massacred, the people enslaved and confined in Babylon.
As servants of God, we have a choice:
- Follow Him and be a pleasant fragrance with abundance, or
- Reject Him and become a stench and have deprivation.
In every situation, I can make a stink or be a fragrance!
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