In the Greco-Roman era, warfare was up-close, sanguinary, and lethal. The Greeks and Romans, who were the masters of warfare, often employed the phalanx—a military formation consisting of rows of heavily armored soldiers with full-body shield and spear. A single soldier who was not in this formation was very vulnerable in battle; the chances of him deserting the battlefield were very high. The phalanx, therefore, was a reassuring source of protection and courage. It was a very simple formation–one simply lined up, with comrades to the left and right–but it proved to be overwhelmingly effective, as this formation allowed Alexander the Great to defeat armies that were over twice their size, taking over the known world.Continue reading
Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
Their wings touched one another…two wings of each one touched one another. (Ezekiel 1:9,11)
Be close enough to know each other’s heart, and to give and receive encouragement in the truth.
One of the most moving phrases in Paul’s writing to Timothy is, “…I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears…” (2 Tim 1:3-4).
Timothy’s sincerity in ministering met hard times. His wings seemed listless, then lifeless. The easiest way would have been just to let Timothy go home. But Paul knew God’s grace and gift had been with Timothy and still was. What Paul saw in Timothy was two levels: first, it appeared that Timothy wanted to give up, and second, Timothy had a genuine faith. Continue reading