Transportation and Communication


Transportation involves travel--getting from one place to another place. Communication is giving information or news by speaking or writing--getting a thought or idea from one person to another person. How did people travel in Bible times? How did people communicate and deliver messages long ago?


How did Abraham, Moses, David and Paul get from one place to another? Did they go by car or by truck? Did they travel by train? Did they hop on their bicycles? Did they ride motorcycles? Did they fly in an airplane or helicopter? Did they zoom over water in a motor boat? When they wanted to go to town, did they ride on the bus or subway? HOW DID PEOPLE TRAVEL IN BIBLE TIMES? Let’s open our Bible and find out:

  1. How did Abraham’s servant get to Rebekah’s home (Genesis 24:l0)? ____________________________________________________________
  2. How did Joseph get to Egypt (Genesis 37:25-28)? ______________________ _____________________________________________________________
  3. What did Jonah do to try to flee from God’s presence (Jonah 1:3)? __________ _____________________________________________________________
  4. How did Jesus travel when He entered the city of Jerusalem (Matthew 21:2,5,7,10)? _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________
  5. Did Zacchaeus take an elevator when he wanted to get up higher (Luke 19:3-4)? _________
  6. How did the two men get from Jerusalem to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-17)? ______ _____________________________________________________________
  7. How did Paul get to Rome (Acts 27:2,6)? _____________________________ _____________________________________________________________


Methods of Travel

As we have seen by looking up these verses, traveling was sometimes done on foot. For longer trips, people would usually ride on the backs of horses, mules or donkeys. After all, why walk when you can ride! For desert travel, God has designed the perfect "vehicle"--THE CAMEL! This animal can go a long time without needing water.

People living in Bible times also knew how to travel on the water. They built boats and ships, and these were propelled through the water in two ways: 1) Some boats (such as small fishing boats and large ships of war) were propelled by means of oars. 2) Some boats (such as merchant vessels) used sails to harness the power of the wind. Look up the following verses and write down whether oars or sails were used to propel the boat:

  1. The ship Jonah was on (Jonah 1:13) _________________________
  2. The boat the disciples were on (John 6:19) ____________________
  3. The boat Paul was on (Acts 27:7,9,13,15,17) __________________


The Danger of Travel

Today people often go on long trips for fun and pleasure. Many families enjoy traveling on their vacation. In Bible times traveling was not always fun. People did not always look forward to traveling. In fact, a person would go on a long trip only when it was absolutely necessary. Travel was something most people dreaded. Why was this so?

First of all, traveling was hard and difficult. Have you ever sat on the hump of a camel for more than one hour? Have you ever walked ten or twenty miles in one day? Today we climb into comfortable cars (with heaters and air conditioners). If we get thirsty on the trip we can stop at a gas station or restaurant and buy a cold drink. We can drive 300 or 400 miles in one day (and in an airplane we can go much farther). In Bible times people could only travel about twenty or thirty miles a day.

An ancient traveler would need to know the locations of wells or springs of water. Sometimes travelers would arrive at a spring only to find that it had dried up. This helps us to understand Isaiah 58:11. Does the spring of water that God provides ever dry up? _______ See John 6:35 and John 7:37-39.

In addition to all these inconveniences, traveling was often very dangerous. What happened to the traveler in Luke 10:30? _____________________________________________ What were some of the dangers and perils that Paul encountered on his many journeys (2 Corinthians 11:26-27)? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

Not only were there robbers, but there were also wild animals. What happened to the traveler in 1 Kings 13:24? ______________________________________________ Has a lion ever bothered you or your family on one of your trips? It was not always safe to travel by sea either. Ancient people had a great fear of the ocean. How many times was Paul shipwrecked according to 2 Corinthians 11:25? ____________ Later in his life Paul suffered yet another shipwreck which is described in Acts chapter 27. Those who traveled by ship needed to realize that they might not ever see land again.


Is The Believer’s Journey Dangerous?

As I travel through life as a believer, are there any dangers along the pathway? Is there anything that I need to watch out for? Is the Christian life a wonderful vacation trip or is it a difficult and dangerous journey?

Is it possible for a believer to meet a lion along the way (1 Peter 5:8)? _____ Who is this lion? __________________________________ Is he there to help you or to harm you? __________________ Did the Lord Jesus meet this same lion (Matthew 4:1,3)? _______ Was the lion able to devour Him (Matthew 4:11)? _______ What can we do to protect ourselves against this lion (see James 4:7 and Ephesians 6:10-17)?

When a soldier travels in enemy territory, he needs to be alert and ready to face the dangers that might come. What about the believer? As we travel through life, are we in friendly territory or are we in enemy territory (John 15:18-19; 1 John 3:13)? ______________________________ As we pass through the enemy’s land on our way to heaven, should we expect people to always treat us well (Matthew 5:10-12)? _____ How was the Lord Jesus treated when He traveled through this land on His way to heaven?

If you were to take a trip in a new and comfortable car, you would probably have a very nice ride. If you were to drive a car that was old and falling apart, you might have a very hard trip with many problems along the way. You travel through life in your body, don't you? Does the body sometimes have problems (see 2 Corinthians 4:16)? ______ As you get older, do you expect your body to have more problems or less problems? ________________________

The Bible also tells us that there are traps and snares and nets along the way as we make our journey (Psalm 57:6; 119:110). What are some of the traps that believers can fall into as they travel through each day? [The first two are done for you.]

following the way of sinners (Proverbs 1:10,11,15)                                    

The familiar hymn ("Amazing Grace") says, "Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; 'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home." God may not give us an easy journey but He will give us a safe one.  He will bring the believer safely to his or her final destination.

Suppose you were walking through a dangerous jungle filled with wild animals and cannibals. Would you want to have an experienced GUIDE with you who would  show you the right path and be able to handle any situation or danger that might arise? _____ Who is the believer’s Guide as he (or she) travels through life’s dangerous journey (Psalm 48:14; Isaiah 58:11)? ________________________ Will this Companion and Guide ever leave us (Psalm 48:14; Hebrews 13:5)?  ______  Do we need to be afraid of the dangers that are before us (Deuteronomy 31:8)?  ______ Can the Lord rescue us from each and every danger and problem along the way (Psalm 34:6,17)? ______ God is able to bring us safely through to our final destination!



What would life be like without telephones? Could you survive without television? How did people get the news in the days before there were newspapers and radio and the evening news on television?  How would people communicate without e-mail?  Today our modern communications have made the world seem very small. With the help of communication satellites, we can turn on the television set and watch an event that is taking place on the other side of the world.

In Bible times, people did not have newspapers, radio, television, telephones, cell phones or e-mail. How did they communicate?

  1. How did David communicate to Abner and King Saul (1 Samuel 26:13-17)? ____________________________________________________________
  2. How did Esther communicate with Mordecai (Esther 4:4-15)? ____________ ____________________________________________________________
  3. How did Joseph communicate with his brothers (Genesis 42:23)? __________ ____________________________________________________________
  4. How did Saul get the Israelites to gather together and form an army (1 Samuel 11:6-7)? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________
  5. How did John the Baptist communicate with Jesus (Matthew 11:2-4)? ______ ____________________________________________________________
  6. How did Paul communicate with Philemon (see the book of Philemon)? _____ ____________________________________________________________
  7. How did Jesus communicate to the large crowd made up of hundreds of people (Matthew 13:1-3)? ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________

When Jesus spoke to the crowds, there were sometimes thousands of people present to hear Him. Did Jesus have a microphone? ______  Did He have a loud speaker system? ______  Did He have a powerful voice? _____

George Whitefield was a great preacher in the 1700's. He often spoke to huge crowds without any microphone or method of sound amplification. It was not unusual for him to speak to crowds of 20,000 people or more. Benjamin Franklin once was present when Whitefield was speaking, and he did some mathematical calculations and figured that Whitefield’s voice could be heard by a crowd of 30,000 people! That would be a good sized crowd at a major league ball park!

People who lived long ago did send letters. Most of the books of the New Testament are letters (or epistles) which were sent to churches or to individuals. Even the ancient Persians had an amazing postal system (see Esther 3:13,15; 9:20--the word "posts" means "postmen" or "runners"). Herodotus, the ancient historian, described these postmen as follows:

Nothing mortal travels so fast as these Persian messengers. Along the whole line of road there are men stationed with horses, in number equal to the number of days which the journey takes, allowing a man and horse to each day; and these men will not be hindered from accomplishing at their best speed the distance which they have to go, either by snow or rain, or heat, or by the darkness of night. The first rider delivers his dispatch to the second, and the second passes it to the third; and so it is borne from hand to hand along the whole line (8.98).

In a few weeks, the most remote parts of the Persians empire could be reached with the message!

Trumpets were also used to communicate. There were not sirens in those days, so a trumpet was often blown to sound a warning.  Trumpets were also used to give signals of war. If the trumpet made an U________________ sound (1 Corinthians 14:8), then the soldier would not know whether he should charge or retreat!

How did people get the news in the days before newspapers and radio and television? Suppose a king wanted a message to go to all of his subjects. What would he do? He would send a HERALD.

A HERALD was a person who carried messages and made announcements. This man would come into a town and quickly the people would gather together. They wanted to hear the message from the king. The herald might begin, "HEAR YE, HEAR YE..." and then he would give his message. Sometimes it might be a message of bad news ("the enemy is invading our land") and sometimes it might be a message of good news ("we won the battle"). We read of a herald in Daniel 3:1-5 who cried out and delivered a message from King Nebuchadnezzar.


Heralds of the King of Kings

In 2 Timothy 4:2, the Pastor is told to ______________ the word. The word "preach" means to "ANNOUNCE AS A HERALD." When a Pastor preaches, what is he supposed to do?

  1. Share his own thoughts
  2. Present his own ideas about how people should live
  3. Give his own views and opinions about life
  4. Share the ideas and opinions of other men
  5. Announce God’s message as it is found in the Bible

The King of Kings has a message for men and that message is found in the Bible. Is it a message of good news or bad news (Luke 2:10; Romans 1:16)? ______________________

When you go to church or to Sunday School, do you go expecting to hear a message from the King? Are you eager to learn about the King’s message? Are you interested in what the King of the Universe has to say to you?

We should never say, "I did not like the Pastor’s message today!" If the Pastor is really and rightly preaching the Word of God and being a herald, then IT IS NOT HIS MESSAGE, IT’S THE KING’S MESSAGE! And if we do not like God’s message, then we are in trouble!

Did you know that God wants every believer to be a HERALD? The KING said in Mark 16:15: "Go ye into all the world and __________ the gospel (good news) to every creature." We are to announce the good news as a herald! We have a message of good news from the King to deliver to all people everywhere!  "How shall they hear without a P ______________" (Romans 10:14). How can they hear the King’s message if there is no herald? How are your friends in school going to hear the King’s message? Is the King going to personally pay them a visit and give them the message Himself? _____ God uses HERALDS to communicate His good news to men (2 Corinthians 5:19-21), and it is the privilege of every believer to be one of the King’s HERALDS!

If the President of the United States gave you a message to deliver to your family and friends, would you do it? ______ The President of the Universe has given you a message to deliver! May God help us to be good and faithful HERALDS!