God's Geography


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

Iceland is a land of fire and ice, a land of contrasts. That's because it's right beside the Arctic Circle, and 80% of it is covered in glaciers and volcanoes. This island is situated above the junction of two continental plates - east and west - that are slowly pullinng apart in opposite directions, thus creating the extensive volcanic activity. With this in mind, let's zoom in on Iceland where we'll find that...

Iceland in winter
[Image courtesy NASA's Earthobservatory]

...Iceland is a ship with a deer for its figurehead!

And it has 7 souls on board.

Ship with deer figurehead

Granted, Iceland is a rather round ship, but that's very important, and we'll get to that shortly. I believe our Creator made this island to contrast two forms of government, God's and Satan's. On one hand, God's government consists of one Head (Ephesians 4:15-16) with all the power that is represented by a crown or diadem or, in this case, antlers. There is one Leader, and whomsoever wants to be a part of His political system must obey His rules, and they get to ride in His Christian boat, (hence the 6 other heads, or head-lands on Iceland).

Likewise with the deer family. Commonly, there is one dominant male, and he tries to gather together as many females as he can into his harem to build his family. He protects them vigorously with his antlers (or horns) against intruders.

On the other hand is Satan's government that is described as a beast in Revelation 13:

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

The dragon

Instead of one head, the Dragon's system has 7 heads and 10 horns, hence the multiple heads on Iceland's back, and the multiple antlers. Each of them is waiting their turn to rise up. As we say, "one snake rears up his ugly head," and then God cuts it down. Then another and another, and so on. No matter how many times our Father destroys Satan's governmental systems, he persistently brings up a new one.

These two contrasting systems were exemplified for us on October 11-12, 1986 when the presidents of the United States and Soviet Union met in the capital city of Reykjavik. Their meeting was hailed as being a critical step in the dismantling of the Soviet Union, and the fall of communism in Russia and her surrounding territories. Two powerful yet opposing forces came together, and through peaceful negotiations, communism was toppled in Russia about three years later.

I believe these two presidents were representing a pair of twins named Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:23-24); President Reagan of the United States representing Jacob, and President Gorbachev of Russia representing Esau. Jacob and Esau were twins that went in separate directions; one God loved, and the other He hated (Malachi 1:1-3). Twins will come up again as we go along.

'Ships' is the next step in understanding Iceland. We mentioned it was also a ship with a deer for its figurehead, however its shape leads us to the round ships in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 1:

3 The word of the LORD came expressly unto Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was there upon him. 4 And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire. ...

The whirlwind helps us envision something round and spinning in the air. The word 'colour' is from the Hebrew ayin (Strong's Concordance #5869) that literally means 'eye' (and 'eye' appears to be derived from ayin as well). It is also the name of a Hebrew letter, equivalent to an 'o' which is round like an eye. This whirlwind appeared to Ezekiel's eye as amber (or literally, as 'polished brass'). Let's jump ahead to verse 15:

15 Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.

I believe Ezekiel also described them as wheels because they are round, but they hover horizontally, not vertically.

17 When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. 18 As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.

Not only are they full of eyes, but I like to refer to these vehicles as eyes (2nd Chronicles 16:9).

Since Iceland is a ship with a figurehead, it reminded me of Acts 28:

11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.

This sign was a figurehead. There is an interesting note about Castor and Pollux in the side column of the Companion Bible: "Literally sons of Zeus. These twin sons of Zeus and Leda were deified and their names given to the bright stars in the constellation Gemini. They were regarded as the patron deities of sailors. The 'sign' was carried on the prow of the vessel, after the manner of our 'figureheads'."

So this ship had a figurehead of the twins on its prow. Gemini is Latin for twins, and I believe it derives from the Hebrew word yamin (or jamin) that means 'right' (Strong's Concordance #3225) - right and left sides being twins or mirror images. So Ben-jamin means 'son (of my) right (hand)'. Benjamin is the tribe that Paul was born into (Romans 11:1). Additionally, all of the left-handed people in the Bible are Benjamites (Judges 3:15; 20:16; 1st Chronicles 12:2). But in your walk with God, if you're at your Father's right hand, He holds your left hand, so left-handedness isn't so bad after all.

Another reason for mentioning Benjamin is that this tribe is also associated with Iceland in a book entitled "Iceland's Great Inheritance" by Adam Rutherford. He "believes that Iceland is strongly represented by the descendants of the Tribe of Benjamin" (the book is available from Artisan Publishers).

Twins are also associated with deer (or roes) twice in the Song of Solomon; firstly in chapter 4:

5 Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.

The end

This verse has its twin in chapter 7:3. And isn't it interesting that on Iceland, the deer's legs are actually on the breast. Also, the upper or right one is longer than the lower or left one.

The end

I think the shape of Iceland is a simple way of showing us that God's government is on the right (John 21:6), and it's the best there is, and it will last forever (Daniel 2:44) while Satan's political and religious systems will fall. Hence the contrasts: fire and ice. The deer of Iceland is looking toward the west (his right), and it's the western governments primarily that call themselves Christian, and serve under God's political system. It's a very simple structure, but efficient, and it's pleasant to look at, and something to look forward to (when He returns) just like the roes and the hinds playing in the meadows. Let's close with a couple scriptures about the deer from men who obviously understood that it's best to serve in God's government.

Habakkuk 3:

18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

Psalm 18:

31 For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? 32 It is God That girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. 33 He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

2006 God's Geography
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