Roman historian Suetonius reports that while the Great Fire of 64AD ravaged the city of Rome,
the Emperor Nero watched it from a tower, while dressed in costume,
playing an instrument, and singing about the destruction of Troy.
Hence the phrase, “fiddling while Rome burns.”
Today, this idiom means, “to neglect one’s priorities
and occupy oneself with unimportant matters
while something disastrous is happening.”
THE STATE OF MANKIND
Seven years before the Great Fire, the Apostle Paul wrote to this Great City with his own unflinching report about the state of mankind:
He wrote, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people”…
… and altho …”what may be known about God is plain, because God has made it plain”…
…Paul explains that all of humanity – the immoral, the irreligious, the moral, and the religious alike –
has been “fiddling while Rome burns” – neglecting God and occupying themselves with themselves –
so that “there is no one righteous, not even one!”
THE GOOD NEWS OF BAD NEWS
Paul ultimately wrote to the Romans in order to tell them about the Good News of Jesus –
but he knew that people cannot appreciate God’s Good News
until they have comprehended their own Bad News.
In the same way, we will allow the challenge of Paul’s words to lead us into facing the severity of our predicament, the depth of our lostness, and the foolishness of our proverbial “fiddling” – so that, in contemplating our need for a Savior, we may more fully appreciate the Salvation Jesus brings.
“Bad News for the Immoral & Irreligious”
“Bad News for the Moral”
“Bad News for the Religious”