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How the Mighty Have Fallen!
by Alan Allegra
6/13/2019 / Salvation
They say, “What goes up must come down.” Whoever “they” are, they are usually right. Gravity has a lot to do with that. But sometimes, it needs a little help.
Martin Tower stood as a “safe” haven for executives of Bethlehem Steel. In the world of industry, the Steel was a giant whose footprint spanned from sea to shining sea, spanning bays and supporting buildings.
Now, thanks to expertly-placed explosives, with a few loud pops, a cloud of dust, and the applause of spectators, Bethlehem’s proudest eyesore became a pile of I beams. How the mighty have fallen!
How will Martin Tower be remembered? As a proud monument to a great industry? As an eviscerated shell of its glory, like a carved pumpkin? As a landmark that allowed wanderers to get their bearings?
In 2 Samuel 1, as David laments the deaths of King Saul and Prince Jonathan, he thrice cries, “How the mighty have fallen!” Great warriors that they were, they nonetheless fell, due to Saul’s foolishness (1 Chronicles 10:13). David, however, sought to assure that they were well spoken of, because “The memory of the righteous is a blessing, but the name of the wicked will rot” (Proverbs 10:7).
Few achieve heights of fame and power, but we all pass away and leave behind a reputation and face a judgment (Hebrews 9:27 — “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.”).
When the spotlight shines on a person with power or fame, it also highlights their faults. How do we remember, say, Richard Nixon? Bernie Madoff? Jim Bakker? Bill Cosby? Jezebel? All were mighty in their fields, but all imploded. It takes a firm foundation to keep a building strong and sturdy, and it takes the same to keep a person spiritually strong.
We must be sure to stand on a firm foundation so we do not fall. Gravity does not affect our souls, but the weight of sin can drag us down. Proverbs 12:3 reminds us that “No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved.” Even a little “help” from Satan cannot cause the believer to implode, “for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity” (Proverbs 24:16).
How does one build this foundation? Hear what the apostle Paul says to Christians: “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19–21).
It is Jesus Christ himself who sets the standard of righteousness, and he promises, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). The great architect of the universe has given his word in the bible, and “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
Let us heed the warning of Christ: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24–27).
Our Sunday school teacher recently asked us what we would like for our epitaph. Mine was, “I don’t care anymore!” What would be your epitaph? How would you like to be remembered?
Alan is a freelance devotional writer for Lifestyles Over 50 and the Allentown, PA, Morning Call. He is also the content coordinator for Thrive Media in Allentown, PA. Passionate about reviving theology and church methodology and being a senior citizen!
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