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Silt Destroyed the City

Our Daily Bread, September 24, 1998

What happened to the great city of Ephesus? Often mentioned in the New Testament, it was one of the cultural and commercial centers of its day. Located at the mouth of the Cayster River, it was noted for its bustling harbors, its broad avenues, its gymnasiums, its baths, its huge amphitheater, and especially its magnificent Temple of Diana. What happened to bring about its gradual decline until its harbor was no longer crowded with ships and the city was no longer a flourishing metropolis?

Was it smitten by plagues, destroyed by enemies, or demolished by earthquakes? No, silt was the reason for its downfall&md;silent and non-violent silt. Over the years, fine sedimentary particles slowly filled up the harbor, separating the city from the economic life of the sea traders.

Little evil practices, little acts of disobedience may seem harmless. But let the silt of sin gradually accumulate, and we will find ourselves far from God. Life will become a spiritual ruin. In the book of Hebrews we are warned of the danger of "the deceitfulness of sin" (3:13). James said that the attractive pleasures of sin are really a mask covering death (1:15).

God forbid that we let the silt of sin accumulate in our lives! - VCG