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Worth a Thousand: Small Compromises

Posted June 25, 2012 Brad Bell

This is a mosaic floor from a synagogue that was discovered on the western shores of the Galilee. What's interesting about this mosaic is that it contains the signs of the zodiac surrounding an image of the sun god Helios. Why would a synagogue have these pagan symbols? Notice on the top of the pic is an ark. This is what would contain the Torah scrolls and it is surrounded by elements of the temple, including the menorah. The pictures seems to show that the introduction of these pagan symbols is ok, as long as the Torah Ark and the symbols of Judaism are prominent. The problem is that this symbolizes a slow compromise from a monotheistic belief the Lord, to a pantheistic synchronism. I guess the point for us is that we may not have a zodiac in our places of worship, but what do we allow in our lives that are subtly steering us away from a purity of devotion to God alone?