Benny the camel
In Hebrew it’s called “lekh-l’kha” or “lech lecha.” This was the famous “call” to a 75-year old man named Abram to leave his home in Ur of Chaldees and to go to an unknown place, a place that God would show him, as recorded in Genesis 12:1-3,
“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”
Eliezer, the servant of Abram
And so the Hebrew nation was promised, and so it began with a man who was told to leave Mesopotamia (“between the rivers”), his home in the wealthy city of Ur with almost 25,000 people, for Canaan…what would become Israel. Abram obeyed God and left, not knowing where he was going, but by faith he believed God (Hebrews 11:8).
Today, within a two-hour walk of where Abraham is known to have settled, you can meet Abraham again in the heart of the Judean desert, at a place called Genesis Land.
Genesis Land is a time machine that transports you back to around 2000 B.C. to Abraham’s tent, where the famous hospitality of the desert is in full force as we see in the Bible when Abraham has three guests visit him (Genesis 18:1-8). This land is a harsh place and a good host was obliged to provide food, water, and shelter (sometimes this was a matter of life and death in an arid land like Judea). Abraham even bowed to the three strangers which may seem strange to us, but it was typical desert hospitality, as was washing their dusty feet (John 13:1-6).
After a welcome introduction from his servant, Eliezer, you are robed and invited to break bread with Abraham in his tent (a full meal with six fresh salads, breads, beef kabobs over yellow rice, date honey chicken, dried fruit, and tea or coffee).
Two at a time!
While you enjoy this scrumptious feast, Abraham himself welcomes you to his home and explains how he came to be here. The re-enactor, Josh Goldsmith, does a masterful job of portraying the Father of the Jews and oozes hospitality (Hebrews 13:2). He really connects with you and you get the distinct feeling that you are his dearest friend. This is the essence of the shepherd tent hospitality so famous in the Scriptures (Exodus 2:20).
After this very satisfying meal and a truly pleasurable time with Abraham (who makes you feel like a prince), it’s time to leave…by camel!
One of the must-do things when you go to Israel is ride a camel, and here at Genesis Land you are given the opportunity to do just that. It’s just one more thing that reminds us of the rich heritage that Israel has had over the centuries as a welcoming land to strangers, as Josh puts so succinctly,
Taking a break
An experience at Genesis Land is intrinsically inspiring because it brings the Bible to life in the actual setting of our ancestors. Sharing the power of Abraham’s hospitality ismething people can relate to themselves and translate it into their own lives. The world would likely be a better place if we spent more time sharing each other’s company.”
Josh “Abraham” Goldsmith and a friend
Amen! And doing it over a hot meal in a cool tent, and later on a warm camel, makes it all the more enjoyable. Be sure to stop in to visit with Abraham while you are in his land of the Bible. It’s guaranteed to be a refreshing stop that you’ll never forget on your own lech lecha!