Wednesday, March 27, 2013

For God, the Best, the Greatest

The ancient Romans had a saying, Iovi Optimo Maximo, which meant "Jove, the best, the greatest". Jove is another name for Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Zeus. Since they considered him the king of all gods, this was their way as saying that there was no one greater in heaven above or earth below.

But the Greeks and the Romans understood they might be wrong. What if another god existed? What if this other god was greater than even Jupiter/Zeus? The apostle Paul saw this first hand when he traveled through Athens. In that city the citizens erected an altar dedicated "To the Unknown God" (Acts 17:23), being ever fearful that they may have overlooked a god. It is one thing to offend a fellow being, it is an other thing entirely to offend an all powerful Deity! Minutius Felix (a Christian writer in the 2nd century) confirms such altars existed throughout the Roman empire. 

In the centuries following Christ's resurrection, more and more people in the Roman empire came to believe in the truth of the Gospel. So much so, that the old Roman myth religions began to die out and churches began popping up everywhere. Historians tell us that it was around this time that a new Latin phrase began to appear: Deo Optimo Maximo (God, the best, the greatest). They had come to realize there was one far greater than Zeus.

Today, set some time aside to praise and worship God the Father. "For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, as he is to be held in awe above all gods" (1 Chronicles 16:25).



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