God's Geography Header


[Map from the Perry Castenada Library,
Courtesy The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin]

I think Africa is the most obviously shaped continent on Earth. It's shaped like a gigantic skull that is mortally wounded, with a huge horn on its forehead:

Satellite image of Africa
[Courtesy NASA's Visible Earth]

Here's a larger, unlabeled version:

Satellite image of Africa
[Courtesy NASA's Visible Earth]

Notice the area where the brain would be. It's occupied by the world's largest desert, the Sahara:

Sahara Desert
[Courtesy NASA's Visible Earth]

It's mostly devoid of life, and thus a great illustration of death or destruction.

Sahara Desert

Why did our heavenly Father make it look like this? I think it would help if we went to our Father's word, and looked firstly at the skull in the book of Matthew, chapter 27:

31 And after that they had mocked Him, they took the robe off from Him, and put His own raiment on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. 32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear His cross. 33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34 They gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink.

Jesus Christ defeated death (Hebrews 2:14). And there's something very interesting about Simon being from Cyrene. Cyrene is now called Tripoli, and it's in Libya, right where Africa's deadly wound is located!

Map of Libya
[Map from the Perry Castenada Library,
Courtesy The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin]

This wound (or gash) reminds me of the deadly wound that David gave to Goliath the giant in the first book of Samuel, chapter 17:

45 Then said David to the Philistine, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, Whom thou hast defied. 46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."

48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

Goliath is dead

Of course there are many who don't believe giants existed, but the Bible is clear that they did. Goliath could look a giraffe in the eye, and there were others just as big (2nd Samuel 21:16-22). They were the offspring of women and evil angels who are called "sons of God" in Genesis 6 (as they are in Job 1:6):

4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown.

I believe the giants were another attempt by Satan to destroy the seedline of Jesus Christ. This group of giants were probably destroyed by the flood. But, because they weren't "born from above" like everyone else, when they died their spirits didn't return to God, and they became the evil spirits that are on the Earth. It's obvious that this incident was repeated (Deuteronomy 2:10-12; 3:11), but that group of freaks was hunted down and killed. Eventually their evil spirits will be destroyed as well (Isaiah 26:14).

The next question we need to ask is, "Why does the African skull have a horn on his forehead?" I believe Africa has a horn because horns are symbolic of power. There's a good example of this in Zechariah 1:

18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. 19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, "What be these?" And he answered me, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem." 20 And the LORD showed me four carpenters. 21 Then said I, "What come these to do?" And he spake, saying, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it."

It's very interesting that this horn has long been known as the Horn of Africa because it looks like a horn.

Horn of Africa
[NASA image courtesy Wikipedia]

Now let's focus on the eye and ear of the African skull. The eye is Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, and its ear is Lake Chad. Africa's ear is in serious trouble. It's drying up. Below are 2 satellite images of Lake Chad produced by the United States Geological Service. The one on the left was taken in 1973, the other in 2007.

Lake Chad 1973 Lake Chad 2007

Lake Chad is almost completely dried up, and it's filling in with sand (the ridges are sand dunes). Therefore we might say that the African skull has no ears to hear; it's spiritually deaf.

Likewise, Africa's eye illustrates "no eyes to see", but to find it we need to look at the Nile River as well. Lake Victoria is the largest reservoir for the Nile River which is the longest river in the world at 4160 miles. The Nile River is formed by the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile at the city of Khartoum in Sudan. From here to the Aswan Dam in Egypt it descends almost 1000 feet in a series of 6 cataracts or waterfalls (represented by the 6 dashes across the Nile north of Khartoum):

Cataracts on the Nile River
[Map from the Perry Castenada Library,
Courtesy The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin]

I realize that the cataracts are a considerable distance from the eye, but they are associated with Lake Victoria via the Nile, so I couldn't resist pointing this out. And if you have 6 cataracts over your eye, then you are blind indeed! The definition of a cataract is "a clouding of the lens that causes the world to appear distorted, as if seen through frosted glass or through a waterfall" (Marieb, E.N. and J. Mallatt. 1992. Human Anatomy. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc., Redwood City, California). And if you don't have eyes to see, you're spiritually blind. A good example of being spiritually blind and deaf is found in Isaiah 6:

9 And He said, "Go, and tell this people, 'Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.' 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes' lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

The two lakes south of Lake Victoria are not part of the Nile - they are Lakes Tanganyika and Malawi - but along with the other lakes to north, they help create a very large S-shaped scar beside and below the eye.

Speaking of scars, let's take a look at the island of Madaga-scar:

[Map from the Perry Castenada Library,
Courtesy The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin]

Madagascar's plants and animals are very unique. Most are found nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately, many are disappearing or already gone including Aepyornis, the world's largest bird. It was "believed to have been over 3 metres (10 ft) tall and weighing close to half a ton 400 kilograms (880 lb)" (courtesy Wikipedia). Giant bird, eh. A thunder-chicken indeed!

But anyway, here is what the African skull looks like after rotating Madagascar 22 degrees to the left, and then reattaching it:

Africa's nose
[Original courtesy NASA's Visible Earth]

Madagascar is actually Africa's nose!

It's an exaggerated nose to be sure - like that of a horse - but a nose nonetheless. In addition, take a look at the circled locations on the following map of northern Madagascar:

Nosy Be, Madagascar
[Map from the Perry Castenada Library,
Courtesy The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin]

The word for island in the Malagasy language is nosy! It's also spelt nossi. Malagasy is Madagascar's official language. And so the world's 4th largest nosy is a nose.

Why has this giant's nose been 'cut off' (as it were)? I think it's an illustration similar to what our Lord said in Mark 9:

43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

I believe we are to think of the many-membered body, and the parts thereof that will be destroyed. The nose draws our attention to breathing, and life itself. If we lose it, then we die. I think it adds to the overall theme of Africa, that of death and destruction: a nose cut off, cataracts for the eye, an ear drying up, and a deadly wound. They make me think of those who shall be destroyed like the giants were: Satan, evil spirits, and the fallen angels. They are all dead men, they have no future, and have therefore been cut off; 2nd Peter 2:

4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Part 2

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