I asked the helicopter pilot to fly to Hazor so that I could take video of the site.
Before long we hovered over a modern town with houses, streets, and parks. The pilot and I exchanged awkward glances, and I clarified what I wanted: “I meant Tel Hazor.”
He still looked confused.
After five minutes of searching the area, we finally saw it. Two hundred acres huge, rising from the floor of the Huleh Basin, ancient Hazor looms as Israel’s largest tell.
I had to marvel at how times have changed. What was once Canaan’s most important city has somehow gotten lost in the weeds of contemporary minds.
How could the pilot not have known where it was?
At Tel Arad, the whole land of Canaan lay before the Hebrews.
They had waited and wandered forty years in the wilderness. The Promised Land was theirs for the taking. Right there before them!
Instead, God led the Hebrews on a major detour.
Tel Arad in Israel’s Negev offers many benefits to its visitors. It’s an oasis of ancient archaeology. It gives a rare glimpse of Judah’s idolatry.
And it speaks to us today of the need to tap the brakes on our impatience with God’s leading.
Shady walkways. Cool breezes. Abundant streams. Luxuriant foliage. The Tel Dan Nature Preserve draws the locals as well as the travelers. It always has.
In natural beauty, Tel Dan has few rivals in Israel. For the ancients, it had everything necessary for abundant living.
While the Hebrews in the south worshipped in Jerusalem, the natural beauty of Tel Dan in northern Israel offered an irresistible alternative. It was picturesque. It was convenient. It was invigorating.
And it was a complete compromise of God’s will.