Five hours of sailing including a break in a secluded bay for breakfast bring us back to the Turkish mainland for a visit to the ancient city of Didyma.

STILL STANDING:  One of the 122 columns of the Temple of Apollos. [PHOTO: Claude Richli] Didyma ‘s main attraction at the time of Paul was its huge temple to the god Apollo. It attracted people from everywhere, not just because of its impressive architecture, but because it was the seat of an oracle, divining the future on behalf of people anxious to know about their good fortune in love and business. The size of the temple installation is tremendous, the quality of its workmanship is still evident today. Great stones are perfectly aligned with each other, the seams between them not perceptible to the touch.

The contrast between the humble cave of Patmos and this huge temple with its ornate decorations could not be greater. In the cave, Jesus revealed the future to his humble servant in a sweeping and detailed way all the way down to the end of time. In the other, the future was allegedly revealed to gullible pilgrims for pay. If God wanted to make a statement in this regard alone, He certainly made it. His glory and wisdom is revealed to the humble in the midst of His creation, free of charge; the glory of man is revealed through splendored accomplishments and a fiction, for pay.

There were 122 ornate columns in this temple. One still stands today (or perhaps again), never finished. Others lie on the ground, with their drums lying against each other like a toppled game of dominos, cast to the ground by a powerful earthquake. Everything else lies in ruins.

The glory of man lasts but for a season. His wisdom is exposed as foolishness. But God’s wisdom endures forever, and His glory is yet to be fully revealed.