The “gladiatorial” spirit of Rome revived!
Gladiator sports having been exterminated around 300-500 A.D. due to the Christian influence over the Roman Empire, it is a bit surprising that a reality show of this sort would be made—but then again, maybe not!
Society has demonstrated a growing “lust” of sorts for more and more extreme entertainment. People thrown into an “arena” in which there are no rules but survive–and with a big prize on the line–surely this is the kind of recipe even ancient Rome may have enjoyed.
Do we really need an entertainment enterprise which stipulates the following:
‘Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.’
This is part of its promo!
Aren’t we supposed to be discouraging those kinds of things? Last time I checked we were! Has society changed this much? I think it has!
We better start looking in a mirror and take a long look and get a hold of ourselves—there’s darkness coming!
There may be a “freedom” to do this kind of thing—but freedom is a finicky object—sometimes chains come with it!
Thomas Hood wrote a poem in 1848 called “The Lee Shore”. Considered by some to be the basis for Herman Melville’s chapter in Moby-Dick called “The Lee Shore”. There is a paradoxical phrase which occurs in this poem with a lot of layers of interpretation!
The poem is about a ship sailing for home. With favorable winds making the journey progressing satisfactorily, those same winds had become dangerous as the ship made its way closer to shore, the possibility of being driven onto rocks, etc. a strong possibility! So the winds turned from favorable to unfavorable!
The poem is a prayer to the elements that the winds now drive the ship, not to shore where possible shipwreck awaits upon rocks, but rather back out to sea until the ship can make a safer attempt to reach shore later under better circumstances!
The poem ends with these words:
Let broad leagues dissever\Him from yonder foam-\Oh, God! To think Man ever \Comes too near his home!
The word “dissever” means to separate and the exclamation at the end is the paradoxical part—-home is where one wants to arrive at, but in this circumstance that “nearness to home” brought too much danger!
One of my interpretations is looking at the word “home” as our afterlife. Coming “too near his home” refers to taking a risky chance regarding one’s actions which could too easily end in death! One of the things commensurate with youth is the idea of taking chances! We all have done it and looking back a feeling of fear may be associated with that memory as one realizes how close we came to a bad end!
One of the things about growing into adulthood is the wisdom of actions and how the responsibilities which comes with age necessitates that one looks at things differently! While life itself carries risk, wisdom tries to help one live life to minimize, in the least, unnecessary risk. Life events unavoidably will happen and there are times when risk of life becomes necessary and warranted, but then there are other times when the risk to life and limb is done out of a desire for thrills! Those latter kinds of risks is what maturity should teach us to avoid! Sometimes a healthy dose of “fear of consequences” is a wise voice to heed!
A few days ago the noted mountain base jumper, Uli Emanuele, died while performing a stunt while base jumping.
29 years old!
A couple years ago he was considered by many to have performed the most difficult of base jumps, having jumped off a mountain in a glide suit and then approached a rock formation with just a couple meters wide gap and successfully going through that—an “eye of the needle” kind of thing one commentator said.
Why wasn’t that enough! His life is now over! He challenged those favorable things which before had brought him to the point of securing his place as one of the all-time daredevils—but he kept going and “came too near his home”! Some say he may have died doing what he loved and that he went out the way he wanted too, I say what a waste!
What other things could he have done in life in which his skills could have been so useful and I am thinking in the line of rescue scenarios. So much he could have contributed but that will never be!
He had a wisdom which could do great things gliding through the air, but he lacked the wisdom which comes with maturity—which is that sometimes it is time to quit taking unnecessary risks and instead direct one’s life in another direction. It is now too late for him to do that.
Wisdom and maturity—something to learn!
The Great Wall was built over many centuries B.C. by different rulers. It is actually a combination of a number of walls. The purpose of this wall was mainly for defense from northern and western hordes as they tried to raid and invade the lands. The wall is a testament to the desire of security as it stretched many thousands of miles and much of it is still intact!
Hadrian’s Wall was built by Emperor Hadrian beginning around 122 A.D. It was constructed in Britain and basically separated the south from the north. One Roman said the reason was to separate the Romans from barbarians! (The PC crowd would have loved that!)
The Berlin Wall was a wall that split Berlin into an eastern part and western part. It was built by the East Germans, who were part of the communist East Bloc of nations. it effectively kept West Berlin from East Berlin and all of East Germany. The East Germans gave as the reason for this the desire to build a socialist state free from fascist influence of the west! The real reason was to stop East Berliners from escaping into West Berlin for a better life!
Israelis have recently come under fire for their “security fence” they felt compelled to build around the West Bank to better control terrorism. It seems to be working!
Trump wants to build a wall to protect us from illegal aliens flooding across our southern borders! He is right and has history on his side!
It is not unusual for leaders with foresight to erect border barriers for the purpose of preventing certain groups from coming across uninvited. And while some may compare this to the Berlin Wall, reasonable people will see it as an example of China’s and Israel’s purpose.
We need to stop worrying about what a group of liberals, who really want this nation to be changed into something unrecognizable from ourfounding, declare. They are on the wrong side of history here regarding the wisdom of building walls!
Iran (or Persia) is prominent in certain Bible verses pertaining to Bible prophecy. Present day Iran doesn’t encompass the entire geographic region it once did when it enjoyed its status as an “empire”, but it encompasses the main part of it. Iran of today also still enjoys the connection with its former empire days. It is not unreasonable that the references to Persia in the Bible pertains to Iran of today.
Iran has been one of the main topics in the news today because of the nuclear arms treaty negotiations with the USA. Also, the objections over the deal by Israel and many people in the USA has garnered much attention. Based on what side one is on, the deal is either the best thing to lead to a peaceful world which has come along in awhile, or, a potential precursor to WWIII, with Israel being the primary focus.
With these tensions, it is only natural to those who consider themselves students of prophecy to try to situate this into the “end-times” perspective of the Bible. This is not unimportant since Persia is mentioned specifically in some important verses of the prophet Ezekiel, and the attack on Israel at some time in the future which this prophecy indicates.
Two other verses in the Bible are important when discussions of Iran and the future are discussed.
Isaiah 44:28-45:1 which says:
That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut. KJV
Isaiah was a prophet the years approximately 740s – 698, 150-200 years or so before a ruler named Cyrus even arose. His prediction was amazing since an individual was named. Cyrus happened to be the first ruler of the Persian Empire which began when Cyrus overcome the Babylonian empire in 550 B.C.. Most of the Israelites had already been deported to Babylon many years before. When Cyrus overcame Babylon, one of the things he did was to allow Israelites to go back to Jerusalem, their former capital, and rebuild the temple, eventually they would also be allowed to rebuild the city. This story is in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The decree by Cyrus concerning the temple was a major historical event for Israel and God had used a gentile to make this major event possible, and that was also very unique.
All through the time of Persian empire, which lasted until Alexander the Great, Israel basically enjoyed good relations with Iran. The only negative time was during the time of Esther, in which a man named Haman tried to have all the Jews killed, but Esther, with the help of her father Mordecai, was able to intercede for the Jewish people with the king of Persia, who is thought to be Artaxerxes I (464 – 425 BC). The full story is in the Book of Esther. A continual Jewish presence has remained in Persia for centuries and even today, although a lot smaller, there are still Jews in Iran.
One of the things in todays news is the overt hostility between Israel and Iran. Israel considers Iran the supreme enemy of the Jewish State and Iran routinely calls for the destruction of Israel. An example :
There is a conundrum in this whole issue–how did the relationship become so bitter and so ultimate when there had been such a positive relationship? When modern history of the relationship between Israel and Iran is analyzed, there doesn’t seem to have been such animosity building up that we should now be witnessing the call of one nation publicly desiring the total destruction of the other.
In the 19th century when the Zionist movement was forming, Iran didn’t support it, but the Jews and Iran still had a basically good relationship. When partition took place and Israel finally became a State in 1948, Iran voted against the partition, but Iran still maintained a basically positive contact with the Jewish State.
Iran and Israel probably enjoyed its best relationship, even though now a State, under the Shah of Iran, who ruled from 1941 until 1979 when the Islamic Revolution overthrew him. That Islamic revolution ushered in the period when religious views drove much of the politics, and even then, through much of the 1980s, Israel and Iran still had a decent relationship and there is the fact that Israel didn’t consider Iran a threat through that time period.
So where did it begin to go wrong? It seems 1992 was a turning point. Israel in 1992 elected Yitzhak Rabin who felt that peace with its immediate neighbors would benefit Israel. The OSLO Accords was the beginning of the effort to make peace with many of the Arab states immediately surrounding Israel. Iran was not one of those “immediate” neighbors and so this left Iran on the edge of Israel’s radar as far as importance and hence created some animosity.
During all this time of Iran and Israel’s relationship, at least since the Zionist movement of the 19th century, many Iranian clerics and leaders were vocal about the Jewish people and maintained that Jewish people were a threat to Islam and Muslims in general. And especially when the Israeli State was formed, this only intensified the attitude among these clerics and leaders.This anti-Israel view now began to be taken more seriously in Iranian politics, and this was because of OSLO. Iran began to back those anti-Israel sentiments with more political actions, primarily by hindering the Peace Process however it could and also with a military buildup, even nuclear. These things would, at least in Iran’s mind, result in making them still an important factor in the Middle East, which they feared was being minimized by OSLO.
Benjamin Netanyahu was then elected Prime Minister in 1996 and he slowed down the Peace Process because he didn’t like the agreement. He had to honor it because of his predecessor but he also tried to work against it as well. He also wanted to cultivate a better relationship with Iran which had suffered because of OSLO. While that did occur, the anti-Israel sentiment and military buildup attitude was now entrenched in Iranian thinking. A definite shift had taken place in their relationship.
In spite of all these various things, Israel and Iran still had basic contact with each other all the way up to 2005.This is what makes today’s headlines and the animosity between the two countries seem so dramatic, it was such a fall! At the same time Iran and the USA was going through its own evolution in their relationship and with George Bush’s “Axis of Evil” statement in 2002, which included Iran, the relationship between Iran and the USA began to sour. This is important because Israel and the USA would be eventually be linked as the two most dangerous enemies of Islam and Muslims.
2005 comes along and the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was vehemently against a Jewish State and made many critical and controversial statements regarding Israel. There was one quote about Israel being wiped off the map, which may have been a mistranslation, but even so, that quote, mistranslated or not, only helped to strengthen an already growing anti-Israel sentiment and relations Israel and Iran deteriorated quickly. Ahmadinejad seemed to have cultivated a climate of hatred towards the Jewish State for many years and made it inevitable that the two countries would have to clash.
Hassan Rouhani, who has been President of Iran since 2013, has continued the critical stance towards Israel, and with the nuclear capability of Iran now becoming more of a reality, the relationship between Israel and Iran can’t get much worse apart from a war. I think a shift in this whole relationship, which now may be unfixable, occurred with Ahmadinejad’s election.
The anti-Israel sentiments seems to have metastasized and, given the Iranians desire for nuclear weapons and their progress towards those weapons, and, even though a nuclear arms deal may have been concluded with the USA, a physical collision between Israel and Iran seems inevitable. And that is what the Bible predicts!
Ezekiel is another prophet who prophesied from approximately 594-574 B.C.. Ezekiel 38-39 mentions many details about a future battle between Israel and a number of other peoples. Persia (or Iran) leads this group, implying they are the main group emphasized. This seems to make sense because Iran of today is blamed for contributing many resources to Israel’s neighbors for terrorist activities. Iran is also blamed for much of the instability of the Middle East! They seem to want a coalition of people to stand with them against Israel! The verses in Ezekiel 38 that mentions Persia is:
5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you. NIV
One of the things regarding Bible prophecy is that the fulfilment is guaranteed, how it gets there is left up to history. It is a little surprising how the history of the Israel and Iranian relationship has reached such a plateau of hostility. But there are other verses in Exekiel 38 which seems to indicate that the national thinking of Iran and this group changes suddenly and so it had to occur at some point:
10 Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. KJV
These verses indicate the desire to attack Israel at some point and though that hasn’t happened yet, this political change which Iran and Israel has undergone in the last few years seem to be the kind of precursor which is needed before a war can be desired and attempted. The venom, which some in Iran have towards Israel, wouldn’t make it a surprise if an attack on Israel is attempted fairly soon.
In summary, Iran (Persia) had been a positive influence towards Israel for centuries. It is only lately that the relationship has really soured. This seems to be backed by the prophecies of Ezekiel which shows Iran has to becom a major enemy of Israel. Although these plans of war will transpire, the result of that attempt will be catastrophic for Iran and its group. More on that later!