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Revelation 3:1-6

Sardis

“Write to Sardis,” saith the Lord,
“And write what He declares,
He whose Spirit, and whose word,
Upholds the seven stars:

All thy works and ways I search,
Find thy zeal and love decay’d;
Thou art call’d a living church,
But thou art cold and dead.

“Watch, remember, seek, and strive,
Exert thy former pains;
Let thy timely care revive,
And strengthen what remains;

Cleanse thine heart, thy works amend,
Former times to mind recall,
Lest my sudden stroke descend,
And smite thee once for all.

“Yet I number now in thee
A few that are upright;
These my Father’s face shall see,
And walk with me in white.

When in judgment I appear,
They for mine shall be confess’d;
Let my faithful servants hear,—
And woe be to the rest!”

Olney Hymns, William Cowper, from Cowper’s Poems, Sheldon & Company, New York

Sardis: Cocky and Confident

Sardis seemed impregnable, sitting on a hill surrounded by high cliffs which no army could scale. Cocky and confident, the people of Sardis slept soundly while Cyrus, the Persian king, and his army climbed the steep cliffs. When the sun rose over Sardis on that day in 549 B.C., its inhabitants discovered they should have been watching instead of sleeping. Did the people of Sardis learn a lesson? Perhaps—but they failed to tell it to their children. In 214 B.C. Sardis again fell when Antiochus the Great surprised the sleeping city by scaling the cliffs at night.

Today in the Word, June, 1990, p. 14