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Why the Colosseum collapsed

Jan 20, 2023

Built on the Rock

I was watching a documentary on past civilizations and what brought about their demise. One of them talked about the Colosseum in Rome and why it collapsed. Over the years, it was devastated by a number of earthquakes, and then in 1348, a major one caused the final damage. This is interesting, because the epicenter was quite far away from Rome. Even so, this huge monument went down. If you look at a picture of the Colosseum today, you can see that the two sides of the arena reacted differently to the earthquakes. The south side was the most profoundly affected because it was erected on unstable ground made of river sediments. The north side had a stronger foundation, so it suffered less damage, and most of the outer wall still stands.

As I listened to this explanation, it reminded me of the Bible verses in Matthew 7:

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

When everything is going well, and life seems easy, we may not be aware of the foundation upon which we have built our lives. It is when the storms and earthquakes come that try to shake us to our core that we will either firmly stand or crumble, just like Matthew described. When our foundation is God’s unconditional love for us, then we can have peace during difficult times.

The Bible calls this “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” (Philippians 4:7). It doesn’t make sense that we can be at peace when it seems like everything around us is crumbling. That’s what a foundation of faith does for a person. When we experience ill health, death of a loved one, loss of job, etc., we can still walk in peace, knowing that God is in control and “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Supernatural peace! It’s quite amazing when you think about it.

Because of His Faithfulness,
Dr. Sharon Brobst. Director


Image by Andrii Zhuk