1 Maccabees 8: Pax Romana
Adapted from a favorite written on February 15, 2009.
Stories of the Maccabees family are interwoven with those of various powers vying for control of the eastern bowl of the Mediterranean Sea. The dreams of Daniel long ago foretold the series of empires that would rule the land of God’s people. Today we see them reach out to the mighty Roman Empire to strike a treaty in an attempt to throw off their Greek rulers. The Jewish nation seeks to restore the protection it lost at the fall of its own empire. The Jewish people want to shelter under the umbrella of the Pax Romana, the Roman Peace. They look for political stability, for predictability, for an end to oppression and enslavement. We know how this story evolves. Within the century the Jewish people groan under the control shared by the Roman Emperor and their own puppet Kings, Herod the Great from 73 B.C.E. to 4 C.E. and Herod Antipas from 4 to 39 C.E. What do they really gain when they enter into this earthly Pax? What do they forfeit?
We fool ourselves when we seek peace at all costs, for the price of some bargains can be too dear. The only force we ought to seek is that of the Spirit, the Spirit that resides with the Father and Son, the Spirit that counsels, guides and saves.
Too many times we have heard the phrases: I just wanted to keep the peace, I didn’t want to get into it with him, I didn’t want to upset her, I didn’t want to rock the boat, I did not have the energy to speak, I just went along, I don’t think I can make a difference. We know the outcome of those stories and the results are always the same when we settle. The cost is great. Greater than we will want to pay in the end.
To learn more about the Pax Romana, click on the image above or visit: https://wilsonancientrome.wikispaces.com/Pax+Romana
Read Martin Niemöller’s poem by clicking on his image or visiting: https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007392
Tomorrow, God’s peace.