“From Dan to Beersheba” is a way of saying the entirety of Israel’s land that YHWH gave the people. Beersheba is on the edge of the Negev desert in the South on the border of the Sinai peninsula. Dan is the furthest settlement in the northern tip of Israel along the Lebanese on the west and Syria on the east.
Today, we visited the ancient city called Tel Dan where archeologists have uncovered the remains of what was ancient city of the Dannite people. The Dannites were one of the 12 tribes of Israel who conquered the land in the time of Joshua. The original land of the Dannites was on the coast near Tel Aviv but poor relationships with their neighbors the Philistines forced them to move to the north.
Evidently they didn’t cut their grass as often as they should. What they found in the north was the largest spring in all of the Middle East and the headwaters of the Jordan River.
We studied the story of Abram who finds his nephew Lot in trouble and captured by warring neighbors. The invitation to Abram, if you remember, was LEAVE his father, his mother, his land and his kin. Lot was never supposed to make this trip and Abram is found fighting battles he was never intended to fight.
How often do we find ourselves picking up the pieces because of choices we’ve made?
And yet there is grace.
There’s always grace.
There’s always bread and wine.
This is the way God works.
Read Genesis 14:18 and following for the rest of this story. In it you’ll find Abram’s first response to an invitation from YHWH that requires no asterisk.