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The Colossus of Rhodes

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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“To hold with the hare and run with the hounds is a coward's policy. In the common matters of daily life, a double-minded man is despised, but in religion he is loathsome to the last degree.” – C.H. Spurgeon

The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek sun-god Helios. It was built by Chares of Lindos in 280 B.C. to celebrate Rhodes’ victory over the ruler of Cyprus. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it supposedly stood 70 cubits (33 meters or 108 feet) tall, roughly the height of the Statue of Liberty.

It collapsed during an earthquake in 226 B.C. and was never rebuilt. Instead, its remains laid where they fell for more than 800 years. According to some reports, Muslim caliph Muawiyah captured Rhodes in 653 A.D., melted the brass, and sold it to a Jewish merchant, who carted it off on 900 camels.

Most historians believe that the Colossus of Rhodes stood on a 15-meter by 18-meter (49-feet by 59-feet) marble base. However, medieval artists depicted the statue straddling the entrance to the Rhodes harbor, with ships passing between its massive legs.

William Shakespeare contributed to this legend with the following lines from Julius Caesar, spoken by Cassius…

Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world
Like a Colossus, and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves

Statues straddling harbor entrances is one thing. Christians straddling the void between following Christ and living by the world’s standards is another. No true believer can long stand, let alone effectively serve God, by having one foot in Christ’s kingdom and the other in the secular world.

Here is how my friend, Bob Williamson, puts it… “To have one foot on the land of truth and another on the sea of falsehood will involve a terrible fall and a total ruin. Christ will be all or nothing.”

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)

- Rev. Dale M. Glading, President

Note: For further study on this subject, see Matthew 12:25; Mark 3:24-25; Luke 11:17; and Matthew 6:24.

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