Aug 18

We usually underestimate people and overvalue things. Great Cities Fall but People Live Forever.

We usually underestimate people and overvalue things.

As C. S. Lewis powerfully observed in his sermon, The Weight of Glory,

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

Two verses, that shouldn’t be so similar, were almost identical.

I was listening to Isaiah recently and some words leap out at me that I remembered but from a different place.

Isaiah predicted that the leading city of his near future would fall (Isaiah 21:9).  Babylon, the great city-state, used by God to judge the Jewish people would itself be conquered.

The words are identical to the words in Revelation 14:8 and 18:2 where a future Babylon will be destroyed for its rebellion against God.

The people of the past and the people of the future lament the fall of the cities that represented their greatest achievements.

People mourned the fall of the cities.

Cities are the centers of culture, commerce, education and political power. People are drawn to them and the materials benefits they bring.

People are conquered and forced to conform to support the bottomless appetite that feeds their growth.

I was born and raised in the then largest metropolitan area in the world. I remember the hugeness of everything from museums to sports. When I left home for college and adult life few places caused the wonder of my childhood memories.  The ones that did were also large and historic cities.

The reasons the Babylons fell

Isaiah and Habakkuk described the pride of historic Babylon. They were never content and worshipped their military power.

John in Revelation is given a vision of the immorality and materialism of future Babylon

There was no place in either city for God.

A caution

Cities are more than things. They are homes to people. People have come from smaller places to find jobs and educational and cultural opportunities. People come from other countries to find peace, toleration, and economic possibilities.

In the loss of their traditional identity they are open to the redeeming identity of Jesus. Many have been raised in and have drunk deeply of its values and opportunities. They may suffer from the emptiness of godlessness and find true value and identity in Christ.

Christian creatives also come to the city redeem its culture and reach its people.

The city is a place of great temptation and great opportunity.

We usually underestimate people and overvalue things.

I have covered some of these issues in earlier posts:

Four ways that Christians can change the world

How do we live in an unbelieving world?

Questions for consideration:

What things of this earth will you miss the most when you near the end of your life?

Are there any things that you will miss that will not be in heaven?

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You may give me feedback, suggest blog topics, or make any other comment to me at Bob@robertkrupp.com

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