1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

Lesson 2: Geography Study Concerning the Scriptures: The Geography of the Earth

Geo means the earth, graphy meaning form, so geography means the form of the earth. 

Geography is the science dealing with the areal differentiation of the earthís surface, as shown in the character, arrangements, and interelations of such elements as climate, elevation, vegetation, population, and land use. 

History has been inseparably bound by and subject to the limitations of geography. 

Paul told this in Acts 17:26, to the men of Athens on Mars Hill as he preached about the Unknown God who:

 

Ö. hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed (determined their allotted periods of time), and the bounds of their habitation; 

God has so made this earth with natural boundaries for peoples and nations until he opens doors to leave those boundaries but always unto new boundaries. 

Geography is a driving force that both starts and limits the nature and extent of political history. 

 

This is called geopolitics.

 

Factors of geography dictate where and how geopolitics will occur.

 

Early civilizations were formed to their full extent by the limitations imposed by geography or the form of the earth.

 

There is no wonder why ancient civilizations emerged on the banks of rivers. 

 

Ancient Egypt owed its existence to the Nile, Mesopotamia drew its life sustenance from the Euphrates, Habur, and the Tigris Rivers.

 

The Indus valley civilization was located along the river by the same name, the Hittite empire rested on the Halys River. 

 

Old Indian culture sprang to life in the Brahmaputra and Ganges valleys. 

 

Ancient China had its Hwang-Ho and Yangtze Rivers. 

 

And European culture emerged on the banks of the Tiber, Danube, Rhine, and Meuse.

 

Even in our own history virtually all major commercial and industrial cities have outlets to rivers, oceans, or the Great Lakes network. 

 

God made the rivers and thereby determined the flow the history.

 

Other factors of geography that dictate limitations on human activity are areas prone to earthquake or volcanoes. 

 

Vast areas of the earth have been so deformed by lava flow and surface deformation, deserts, or other inhospitable things as to make human habitation impossible.

 

Mountains, deserts, caves and oceans, placed there by God, always have their say concerning the location or nature of civilization and thereby history. 

 

The Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman empires were all bordered in part by impassable mountain barriers or un-navigable desert wastelands.

 

In the centuries of early history the peoples of the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea struggled for political and cultural superiority with the peoples of the Southern shores.

 

These peoples all were bound together in areas where God had placed barriers to normal travel and transport.

 

And Israel was placed by God in the center of these struggles. 

 

If there is any location on earth that requires a God that is a shield, a buckler, a high tower, a fortress more that Israel I donít know of it. 

 

And it remains that way to this day. 

 

God made a location on earth that by its very geographic qualities was to teach trust, the fleeing to God for protection. 

 

And the position of Palestine is not less strategic today than it was in ancient times.

 

Selecting the area where Godís people would dwell was no accident.

 

All activity of the earth was concentrated in that geographic area for His purpose.

 

And the geographic barriers that He established were not broken down in part until His purposes were fulfilled.

 

But once those barriers were broken by Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama, the rule by those of the Mediterranean was broken and history moved westward. 

 

New worlds were given to conquer.

 

Where God has placed his resources is also a determining factor of civilization. 

 

Tin came from Iran, Cedars from Lebanon, Silver from Assyria, Copper from Anatolia, and gold and ivory from Spain. 

 

Resources are dispersed by God in the way that God desires mankind to disperse.

 

Today Godís resources of oil play a big part in history and were kept in store until God allowed them to be needed.

 

So our God given geography actually establishes the boundaries within which history must operate at a particular time. 

 

The march of civilization only continues when God opens up a new door through which to march or allows a barrier to be overcome. 

 

So God has dictated the march of history by the geography or form of the earth He has created.

 

Geography establishes many of the needs that must be met in order to populate the environment. 

 

Are the right animals available to provide the skins to protect against the cold? 

 

Will the area provide for grazing animals? 

 

The God given barriers on manís activity that have been provided by geography have been and are being broken down by manís development of technology. 

 

Technology looses man from Godís direction by geography and when that happens the distance away from Godís will may grow greater. 

 

Deserts can bloom by irrigation. 

 

Oppressive heat can be endured by air conditioning. 

 

Rivers are tamed by vast hydro-electric dams. 

 

Distances are erased by automobile and air travel. 

 

Mountain barriers are no longer barriers when manís power equipment moves mountains not by faith but by might.

 

So today we do not have the sensitivity to the effects of geography as did the peoples of Bible days. 

 

In those days geographic limitations were well defined and limited all activities in all areas of life.

 

We can go anywhere we can afford and at any time we wish and almost as fast as we wish.   

We can have all manner of foods at most any time, we can wear any kind of clothing we wish, or have any temperature, hot or cold, in our homes.     

We even know what weather to prepare for, we know when and where a hurricane will strike or when rain is expected or not expected. 

 

Most geographic limitations have been eliminated of minimized in our time. 

 

So when we study the Bible we do it with a different mind set. 

 

We live in a different millennium and on a different continent, and in a technological world. 

 

When we interpret and apply the scriptures we must, as much as possible, recognize the environment in which the activities recorded in the Bible took place.   

So geography cannot be divorced from Biblical interpretation.