Monday, January 5, 2009

In one hour ...

One of Woody Allen's best movies, Crimes and Misdemeanors, shows how the central character, an optometrist, commits two murders: of his mistress, and of his conscience. Towards the end, as the honored professional man tells his story to a failed movie maker (played by Allen), he asks the nebbish: "Suppose you did something horrible, and nothing happened. What would that tell you?" The Allen character replies, "That my worst fears were realized."

John Calvin said that God judges some sins in this life, so that men will not impugn His justice. Some sins, however, go unpunished until the next life, since we do need to walk by faith and not by sight. The people of Israel had lived under the Sword of Damocles for nearly an entire generation. They knew of the doom Jesus had predicted ... but it had not happened yet. Therefore, he must have been just another false prophet, right? John, however, has a different message for them:
Çektiği ıstıraptan dehşete düşecekler, uzakta durup,
"Vay, vay, büyük kent, güçlu kent Babil!
Bir saat işinde cezanı buldun diyecekler."
Let's look at a few words:
  • ceza -- punishment
  • ıstırap -- pain, suffering
  • dehşet -- terror, horror, awe
Jersalem had become "the big city, the strong city, Babylon." Yet, "in one hour," in a very brief period of time, the bills came due.

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