Roman Catholic monk Girolamo Savonarola, (September 21, 1452 – May 23, 1498), was shocked by the immorality in Italy and by the corruption he observed within the church. As a teenager, he walked beside the River Po where he sang to God and wept over the condition of the people. At the age of 22, he wrote “Contempt of the World,” comparing the sins of his time to Sodom and Gomorrah. Years later, while praying, the Holy Spirit gave him a vision in which he was told to announce to the people that hard times were coming to the church.
Savonarola obeyed God and was a powerful speaker against the evil he observed. Boldly he prophesied that Florence’s ruler, the pope and the king of Naples would die within a year because of their sins and they did. For over eight years, he preached from the largest cathedral in Florence, Italy. Great revival broke out as people repented of their sins and sought to obey God. Heavily convicted, people brought their obscene pictures, wicked literature and anything associated with evil. Their possessions made a pyramid over sixty feet high and 240 feet in circumference. Someone lit the pile and as the huge bonfire burned, the people sang hymns.
Outraged by this upstart monk, the corrupt religious leaders eventually incited a mob which broke down the convent doors where Savonarola stayed. They tortured him, tied his hands and repeatedly hoisted him to a great height and dropped him dislocating his shoulders and tearing his muscles. But the faithful priest refused to recant. Eventually, with two other monks, before thousands of onlookers, the three men were hung and their bodies burned. Savonarola’s last words were, “Should I not die willingly for Him who suffered so much for me?” His life, ministry and death greatly influenced a young man who knew and observed him. We know this man as Martin Luther.
Hebrews 11:13-16—These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Now those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been remembering that land they came from, they would have had opportunity to return. But they now aspire to a better land—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
The greatest need for our nation is not universal health care but rather a universal Healer. Turn on the television, surf the net, observe the direction our country is going and tell me how we morally exceed the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. What disease is worse than immorality? Who is weeping?
The greater need for our land is not a strong dollar but rather to live up to the words on our coins, “In God We Trust.” See the foreclosure signs, the long lines of unemployed, and the pain they represent. But what about the eternal loss, the inability to ever live with God in mansions Jesus prepared because He is rejected! Who is weeping?
Find your River Po and walk with God. Renounce whatever keeps you from holy living and grieve over evil. Listen to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to you. If you will pray and speak up for what is right in God’s sight, He may use you to be a Savonarola. Better to be a martyr for truth and die prematurely in God’s hands, than live old for what will burn.
A man who sees himself seated with Christ in Heaven, in the very presence of a God to whom the angels cry out, “Holy, holy, holy,” won’t spend his evenings viewing Internet pornography.—Randy Alcorn in Heaven
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
Wesley L. Duewel. Revival Fire. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, ©1995.