Meditations from the Classics
Homer: Iliad 5:839 (762 B.C.)
In a tense scene outside the battle-scarred walls of old Troy, Diomedes (a young Greek commander), was chastised by Athene, the goddess with the flashing eyes.
“Why aren’t you fighting?” she asked the idle soldier wounded from an arrow.
Diomedes replied, “it’s because Ares the War-god is fighting against us and you told me not to fight against the gods.”
“My dearest Diomedes,” cried Athene, “I understand; but with me at your back, you need have no fear, either of Ares or any other god. Quick now and get at him! Drive up, and do not stop to think ‘this is the redoubtable War-god’, but let him have it at short range.”
As she spoke, she reached out, dragged Sthenelus ( a captain in the army) back, and hustled him out of the chariot. “The eager goddess took her place in the car beside the noble Diomedes, and the beech-wood axle groaned aloud at the weight it had to carry, a formidable goddess and a mighty man of arms.”
What a team! A god and a man. An unbeatable combination.
I see this duo often in the Bible:
There’s little David running down the valley toward the giant with nothing but a sling and a stone-oh, and God.
There’s Daniel standing in the furnace, the flames hot and menacing. Oh, and God was with him.
There’s Jonah in the belly of a voracious whale all alone except, well except for God.
God and a man. Now that’s an unbeatable combination. It’s a duo you can count on if you are a disciple. It was the last thing Jesus promised before his ascension:
“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
It’s you and God in the chariot together.
There’s nothing you two can’t handle.
David R. Denny Ph.D.
⌉The Greek text: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0133%3Abook%3D5%3Acard%3D835
Chariot artwork: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2014/12/homer…