We are called to much higher things than the ambitions of this world. The life of the Truth comes at a cost. We must weigh the value of what we are being asked to give up against what we are going to gain. If all we do is think about the present life, our pilgrimage might be over in short order, as we head back to the world:
The relative peace in the Roman heavenlies of the white horse seal epoch ends suddenly in the madness and vice of Commodus. After surviving an assassination attempt in the third year of his reign, treachery, murder and bloodshed become the theme of Commodus’ rule and the subsequent age.
A half-shekel silver coin dated to AD66/67 has been discovered in the Judean Desert. The rare coin minted in Jerusalem by the Jewish rebels was found in the area of the Ein Gedi nature reserve. It has the words “The Holy Jerusalem” in ancient Hebrew on the coin’s face, and was issued in the first year of the Jewish Revolt against the Romans.
There are certain events in Scripture which are challenging to the 21st century sense of justice. One of these situations is recorded in 2 Samuel 21, where sevens sons of Saul are hanged for a crime that Saul committed. Does this mean that God is unjust?
Both Elijah and Elisha were called “the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof” (2 Kings 2:12; 13:14) because it was known and understood that Yahweh was working through his prophets. The foundation for this expression is laid by David when he is instructing Solomon about building the temple. In 1 Chronicles 28:18 David calls the cherubim “the chariot of the cherubim”.
The book of Lamentations contains five lamentations, which all refer to the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Kingdom of Judah by the Chaldeans. Each song bewails the unutterable misery that has befallen the covenant people in this catastrophe, and the disgrace which the fallen daughter of Zion has thereby suffered.
In 1 Kings 15, we have the inspired record concerning several kings in Judah and Israel approximately 22 years after Solomon’s death. In this chapter, we are introduced to Abijam, the son of Rehoboam, who only reigned for three years, and to Asa his son, who reigned for 41 years in Jerusalem.
Tarsus, the capital of the ancient province of Cilicia, is located near the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Situated today, 10 miles (16 kilometres) inland from the sea, it served as a port city due to the Cydnus River (today the Tarsus Çayï) passing through Tarsus on its way to the sea. The river was navigable by ships from the Mediterranean coast to Tarsus.