At this time when all nations are beset by the Covid pandemic, oppressive lock-downs, rising inflation and worsening financial challenges, and the threat of wars breaking out in the Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, the Mideast, etc., many people are very weary of the problems facing modern society and many might wish that they lived in “the good old days.” I can understand that desire as I share it. It would be great if we could somehow turn the clock back and live in a more innocent, peaceful time. Technology offers many modern conveniences that would have been regarded as science fiction mere decades ago, but these technologies have come with a cost. Long-held concepts of cultural and family normalcy are disintegrating as high-tech spreads everywhere. High technology also makes it possible for the forces of societal disintegration and division to spread very rapidly. Believers may sometime say to themselves: “I wish I lived in biblical times.” I’ve literally heard people express that viewpoint.
However, if you really think about that desire, you may wish to reconsider it. There were very few biblical times after Adam and Eve’s fall in the Garden of Eden when life was predictably good. In much of ancient history, life was short, brutal and a constant struggle for survival. Droughts, wars and sudden invasions, plagues, etc. often wrecked and scattered families, clans and nations. We are now living in a time called “the latter days” in biblical prophecy where life is prophesied to become increasingly perilous (Matthew 24:3-31, II Timothy 3:1, etc.), and so, barring a widespread repentance that draws people back to our Creator, things will tend to continue their inexorable slide downhill.
Twelve years ago in 2009, I wrote a post which addressed this very wish to “live in biblical times” when some assume “things were better.” At a time when modern society experiences steadily worsening problems and societal bonds in many nations are fraying, I think this previous post is timely. We tend to view “biblical times” through rose-colored glasses. The reality was far different, and we tend to gloss over it as we read the biblical narratives. This twelve year-old post will be new to all current readers of my blog except for the very long-time readers (my website blog started in 2007). I hope this early post offers readers a realistic perspective on biblical times. Before you read it below, ask yourself: When would you wish you had lived if you could have a time machine take you back to any time or culture you selected? In this early post, I wrote which ancient time I selected…and I think the answer will surprise you.
IF YOU COULD LIVE IN ANY BIBLICAL TIME YOU WANTED…
by Steven M Collins | Dec 27, 2009 | Ten Tribes – Ancient History
Over the years, I’ve heard people say that they wished they had lived in “biblical times.” Since the Bible covers mankind’s history on earth, that’s a pretty broad period of time. Have you ever given thought to which biblical period of time you would like to have been born in if God had given you such a choice? Since I’ve heard that wish spoken a number of times, I’ve actually given thought to the time period I’d select if given the choice. I’ll share it later in this blog.
What time period would you select? Would it be the reign of King David when the Israelite tribes became a mighty empire and numerous victories were won? It would also be a time when many men died in battle or were maimed for life, vast numbers of women were widowed, and children were orphaned. Many then experienced severe dislocations and traumas from war. David was a bloody man who “killed his ten thousands” (I Samuel 18:7). David’s time included a civil war between Judah and Israel (II Samuel 3:1) and another one when Prince Absalom rebelled against King David (II Samuel 15-18). David’s reign included almost constant bloody warfare. Would you have wanted to live then?
What about the time of King Solomon when Israel enjoyed decades of peace and prosperity and when it was mostly free of warfare until Solomon deteriorated at the end of his reign. If so, Solomon’s reign included massive civilian drafts to assemble the gargantuan work-gangs that were needed to build Solomon’s many grand and grandiose projects (I Kings 5:13-15). Solomon’s demands upon his subjects became so oppressive that it led to a ghastly Israelite civil war soon after Solomon died which saw the nation permanently sundered and over a half-million men died in just one battle (II Chronicles 13:17) and many other wars occurred (I Kings 14:30). Would you have wanted to live in the times of the great prophets Elijah and Elisha? If so, it would have included the three and 1/2 year drought of Elijah’s time in which many Israelites starved to death (I Kings 17:1, 18:2), and Elisha’s time which included more bloody wars (II Kings 3:7, 6:24). It would also have been a time of Baal-worship where many babies were screaming as they burned to death in the fiery bellies of idols. That at least would have a strong similarity to our modern times where millions of babies have also been killed in abortion. However, our society kills babies in abortion clinics where babies are killed inside their wombs so their infant screams cannot be heard.
If you are the pioneering type, would you choose to live in the time when Noah and his family left the Ark and started over? Would you have wanted to live in the time of Christ and the apostolic era? If so, you would have lived under Roman tyranny and perhaps lived to see the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and the cruel murders of vast numbers of men, women and children. We could go on and on, but as you can see, there aren’t many idyllic times in the Bible.
I’ll share with you the time that I’d select if I had to pick a “biblical time” to live. It is so obscure that few would even think of it. It was during the time of the Judges and it is described in just one verse, Judges 3:30. This time occurred after the Israelite tribes were delivered by the Judge Ehud. Verse 30 states: “And the land had rest fourscore years.” That is the time in which I would choose to live. For eighty years, there were no wars, no dislocations, no civil disturbances, no plagues, etc. The land (and everyone who lived in it) had rest and peace for 80 years. During that time, the Israelites lived in obedience to God and his laws. The Ten Commandments were widely obeyed, so all the tribes of Israel observed the Sabbath Days, the annual religious feast days of Leviticus 23, etc. Children grew up in a society that feared God and reaped the benefits of God’s ways. Sons learned their father’s crafts, grew up and had happy marriages and raised their children in a society in which peace was so pervasive for so long that it was taken for granted. Economic problems would have been minimal because during that 80 year period, there would have been about a dozen “years of release” and one or two Jubilee Years. This would have resulted in regular purgings of debts throughout Israelite society and the return of hereditary lands to all families at least once and maybe twice. The Israelites would have dwelt safely and no one would have made them afraid as they enjoyed the fruits of their labors in growing crops in abundance to eat. There were also no wars. When you think of millennial prophecies like Micah 4:3-4, the time of Judges 3:30 sounds like the closest thing human history has had to enjoying a millennial taste of life.
Of course, if one had lived in Judges 3:30’s 80 year period of time, it would have been a low-tech time. Forget about electricity, computers, phones, etc. Many would say that they would prefer to live in our modern world with all its high-tech wonders and gadgets. Not me. I’d pick the pervasive peace and contentment of Judges 3:30 any day.
We’ve lived in a modern world where the knowledge explosion has dazzled us with high-tech toys and inventions. However, as those who have followed world events and my blogs realize, we are living in the latter days of our age and unprecedented traumas and suffering lie ahead of us. Have we entered the time of the “beginning of sorrows” mentioned in Matthew 24:8 when these end-time traumas begin? Our modern financial/economic system (called Babylon the Great in Revelation 17-18) almost collapsed globally in September, 2008 and Revelation 17-18 prophesy its eventual fall is certain. Out of the economic rubble of its collapse will emerge the global “beast” system. During that time, the beast system will persecute Christians and believers (Revelation 13:6-7). However, the Two Witnesses who will be sent by God during that same time will have carte blanche authority from God to plague nations and people who do embrace the beast’s system (Revelation 11:3-6). Everyone alive on earth will, therefore, be persecuted or plagued by one side or the other. Then things will really get bad when climactic wars and disruptions finally create a “great tribulation” where all flesh would die if Jesus Christ did not return as the Messiah (Matthew 24:21-22). Revelation 14:13 soberly warns a time will come when the dead will be better off than the living. Eventually, Jesus Christ will return and the millennium will begin (Revelation 19:11-20:4). That is when utopian prophecies like Micah 4:3-4 will be fulfilled. We can look forward to that time, but this world is prophesied to experience a global living hell before that time comes. There is no way around that prophesied reality. Given all the latter-day prophecies that are being fulfilled and are about to be fulfilled, you are now living in a very critical “biblical time.”
Very challenging times lie ahead. I wish the news were otherwise, but I must write what the Bible says will happen. Now is a very good time to draw closer to God and be sure that you are part of a solid faith community of some kind where members will support each other. If you want a reminder of what is coming in the latter days in the years ahead of us, I invite you to read my article “Are We Living in the Biblical Latter Days?” and “What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveal about a Future World War III” [PDF]. I also suggest reading “Should Christians Prepare for Future Hard Times?” The information in that article could save your life in the future. All these articles are available at the articles link of this website.
None of us gets to select the time in which we were born into the world. However, if I had been given the choice by God to pick what biblical time we would live in before I was born, I’d have picked the time of Judges 3:30. What would your choice have been?