From the memoirs of my childhood experiences: “Betrayal from within” - The rise and fall of earthly kingdoms
I grew up in a very historical city - Veliko Turnovo, the first capital of the Second Bulgarian state (12th -14th Century). Earlier, Tzarevetz fortress (pic below) was the actual city where close to 3000 people lived, including the patriarchs and the kings. This castle stood unconquerable for centuries with its three rings of fortification walls and an abyss around the main entrance.
In 1393 the Ottoman Empire besieged the city from all sides and conquered it. The story was a traitor within the kingdom was bribed to leave one of the gates open and lower down the bridge in order for the Ottomans to come inside and conquer the city. For the next 500 years Bulgaria was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and was finally liberated thru series of events in the Russo-Turkish war, and re-established as a Sovereign State on March 3, 1878.
It’s fascinating to go to Tsarevets today and walk around the restored ruins, inside of the fortress, and hear the sound and light show taking you centuries back through its history. While growing up, our home and balcony, faced this beautiful fortress and I was able to admire it from afar every day.
History was hidden from us during communism, some parts were left out in order to fit the narrative the communist party wanted us to believe. But no matter how deep truth could be hidden, God’s truth can never be uprooted from the heart of humanity. That castle to me signified strength, and a desire to fight for freedom! Centuries later it stood, although battered, as a reminder to never stop fighting for truth.
I look for segments in history to understand current events. After all, the enemy has no new tricks in deceiving people, he just uses shinier tools that appear less threatening.
When people lower bridges in their beliefs for the success of their kingdom by betraying God’s word, morals and principles, it will only lead to destabilization within. When in confusion of identity, individuals and societies are more prone to betray even their own. One big reason the Ottoman Empire was able to rule over my country for 500 years is because they took the children and youth and taught them to kill their own families (if they opposed the new regime or held onto their Christian beliefs).
If you were to take just this one example from the history of my nation, my challenge to all of us would be this: what gates in our hearts have we lowered in deceit, in order for the enemy to come in and throw havoc in our lives and beliefs? What gates has the church lowered in order for false gods to replace the True God of our worship? What gates have we lowered as a nation (and all nations) for us to accept human demoralization as a new normal?
My final thoughts:
Even Jesus was betrayed through one of His disciples for a short-lived fame. Yet, through Christ willing sacrifice on the cross, He lowered the gates of heaven to kiss the face of this earth. Betrayal was swallowed thru His death! Redemption was sealed thru His resurrection.
JESUS IS THE ONLY BRIDGE WE MUST LOWER, AND GOD’S KINGDOM IS THE ONLY ONE WE MUST BUILD AND BE A PART OF.