jtemplate.ru - free extensions for joomla

Tomorow is Always Uncertain

April 14, 2015

Today’s Word
Bits of Information & Inspiration

Today in History

73 AD – According to Jewish historian Josephus, 967 Jewish zealots committed mass suicide within the fortress of Masada on this last night before the walls were breached by the attacking Roman Tenth Legion. (Two women and five children survived by hiding in a cistern, and were later released unharmed by the Romans.)

The only written source about Masada is Josephus Flavius’ The Jewish War. He was a young leader at the outbreak of the Great Jewish Rebellion against Rome (66 CE). According to Flavius, Herod the Great built the fortress of Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.

Some 75 years after Herod’s death, at the beginning of the Revolt of the Jews against the Romans in 66 CE, a group of Jewish rebels overcame the Roman garrison of Masada. After the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple (70 CE) they were joined by zealots and their families who had fled from Jerusalem. There, they held out for three years, raiding and harassing the Romans.

Then, in 73 CE, Roman governor Flavius Silva marched against Masada with the Tenth Legion, auxiliary units and thousands of Jewish prisoners-of-war. The Romans established camps at the base of Masada, laid siege to it and built a circumvallation wall. They then constructed a rampart of thousands of tons of stones and beaten earth against the western approaches of the fortress and, in the spring of 74 CE, moved a battering ram up the ramp and breached the wall of the fortress.

Once it became apparent that the Tenth Legion’s battering rams and catapults would succeed in breaching Masada’s walls, Elazar ben Yair – the Zealots’ leader – decided that all the Jewish defenders should commit suicide; the alternative facing the fortress’s defenders were hardly more attractive than death.

Flavius dramatically recounts the story told him by two surviving women. The defenders – almost one thousand men, women and children – led by ben Yair, burnt down the fortress and killed each other. The Zealots cast lots to choose 10 men to kill the remainder. They then chose among themselves the one man who would kill the survivors. That last Jew then killed himself.

Elazar’s final speech clearly was a masterful oration:

“Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice …We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom.”

Today, many of the soldiers in the modern Israeli Defense Force choose to take their oath of service at the Masada site as a testimony to their resolve to defend freedom.

Inspirational Words

“Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from grace.”
– Thomas à Kempis

Today’s Word

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
James 4:14-15 (NIV)

Thoughts on the Word

“If the Lord wills!” Do you do short term and long range planning? I do. But my planning always has an invisible asterisk: “If Lord, this is your will and your timing.” I don’t know about you, but God has shown me time and again that if I will be open to him, his timing is always better than my planning. Does that mean I quit planning? Nope. I just plan with prayer, asking for wisdom and the Holy Spirit to help me find God’s timing to know and do his will (James 1:5-6 & Ephesians 5:15-18). Life is too short to not plan with prayer and walk led by the Spirit!

Prayer for Today

Not my will, Father, but yours be done this day, and all the days of my life. In Jesus’ holy name I ask it. Amen.

 Find out more about First Baptist Church of Rantoul at www.fbcrantoul.org

Like us on Facebook at First Baptist Church – Rantoul