A city buried alive in tons of molten rock in one of the greatest natural tragedies in the ancient world. Why? Because when you live next to a volcano, never forget that it can and will erupt!
The City of Pompeii
Located off the coast of Naples, Italy, Pompeii was a gorgeous island city populated by a carefree society of Romans during the 160 years between its conquest and eventual demise. But for all it’s beauty, Pompeii had one deadly secret, for on the island stood Mount Vesuvius, a great and powerful volcano. Why would anyone live near a volcano, particularly an active one? Because volcanic ash is among the most fertile soil on earth! The foliage was greener, the air cleaner, the fruit and vegetables better tasting. Pompeii was a veritable pleasure island. But then one day, it was all over in one massive EXPLOSION!!
Without any warning, Vesuvius erupted spewing rock and steam 33 miles into the air! Molten rock, fire, ash, debris, and smoke came raining and flooding down on the city of Pompeii. There was not enough time to even get to the boats. In minutes the city was devastated with only a few survivors. Nothing could save them from the destruction of the volcano.
Bodies were buried in ash up to 20 ft deep. The destruction was so great that when archaeologist began unearthing some of these things they discovered that an entire city had been built upon 79 AD Pompeii and also buried in ash. The mountain had exploded and wiped away any record of life on its island.
Why would anyone live next to a volcano?
Good question. But the truth is, we all do. The person sitting next to you is a volcano. Every single one of us human beings has a breaking point, and when we reach it, we explode!! People get hurt, relationships get destroyed, lives are ruined and even lost. Vesuvius is considered the most deadly volcano in the world. Because it killed thousands of people thousands of years ago? No. It’s because there are over 3,000,000 people now living in the blast radius of the mountain who could be in fatal danger if it erupted again.
So why do they stay? Because they know what it is capable of, for good and bad outcomes. Remember I said that volcanic ash is among the most fertile on earth? Well, in the aftermath of tragedy and destruction, God can make things beautiful again. That’s why reconciliation is such a great picture of pure love.
How is any of this applicable?
When we know what is living next to us, we treat people different. When we realize we could just as easily be the one to SPLODE, we respond differently. There are volcanos all around you and every one of them could erupt without warning and destroy everything you ever loved. What will you have then?
This is why the Bible tells us in 1 John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” Because the most important thing in our life should be something that no devastation, no disaster, no tragedy, and no explosion can ever take away. Hold on to God! And for your own sake, don’t mess with a steaming volcano; it’s just not worth it.
As always, thanks for reading, and drop me a comment sometime. I’d love to hear from you.
—the anonymous novelist