1 Kings 19:9
“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him….”
Cavemen. The very word conjures images of bearskin clothing, wooden clubs and perhaps some simple stone tools. We think of the cavemen themselves as part ape and certainly less than modern humans. All of these images help make human evolution look more plausible.
However, in China there are some 20 million people living in caves. The caves there are easily carved in the silty soil of the Western regions of the Yellow River. The caves are generally 10 to 13 feet wide and can extend as far as 25 feet back into the hillside. Sometimes the caves are connected to one another, creating a larger place to live. Many of the people who live in these caves would not think of moving out of them.
Caves are warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and they are fireproof. These caves include flues for venting the exhaust from cooking fires. But these caves are not primitive dwellings by any stretch of the imagination. They feature plumbing, electrical wiring and even cable television! Except for windows, some of these cave homes are as modern as anything you’ll see in the rest of the developing world.
Throughout the ages, people have taken shelter in caves and even set up housekeeping in them. The fact that they lived in caves does not make them primitive at all.
Lord, do not let Your people be misled into unbelief, and enlighten them with Your truth. Amen.
Minneapolis Star Tribune, 12/21/08, p. AA5, Tim Johnson, “Cave, sweet cave: Many Chinese find home is in a hillside.” Photo: Traditional cave houses in Shanxi, also known as yaodong (“house cave”). Courtesy of Meier & Poehlmann. (CC BY 3.0)