Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sizzle (05/02/13)
TITLE: Even the Fire and Flames Obey Him
By Ernest Yoder
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Jesus sat down in the back of the boat where He had been fast asleep minutes before. His disciples were discussing what had just occurred with expressions of wide eyed incredulity on their faces with remarks like, “Who can this be that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (NKJV) These comments were in response to a demonstration of the phenomenal authority of their beloved Teacher. Never in their wildest imaginations had they ever expected to witness the forces of nature meekly respond in subjection to the spoken Word of Jesus. Jesus sat and quietly gazed on these twelve dear men. How little they knew about Him and His divine power. They had come a long way but they still had further to go as they learned more about Him. Can we imagine that, as he sat, Jesus’ mind went back to another occasion about 600 years earlier?
How well He remembered! Three outstanding young men were being called on the carpet for disobeying King Nebuchadnezzar’s command to worship the tall imposing image he had constructed on an open plain. They quietly stood before him as he lectured them for such blatant insubordination. Then he said he would give them another opportunity. At that point they spoke up and respectfully told the king that they did not need a second chance. They understood the command and they understood the consequences. They informed the king that God could deliver them. But even if He chose to not deliver them they still wouldn’t worship the image “which you (not God) have set up.” (NKJV) How the unseen Jesus silently must have applauded the mettle of these stalwart men! They were the Old Testament quintessential examples of “real men love Jesus.”
The king, now beside himself with rage, commanded the furnaces to be heated to seven times hotter. The three young men, bound, were pitched into the flames. The heat killed those who threw them in. Then the most unthinkable thing happened. Jesus decided to reveal Himself to the king as he took a leisurely stroll with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the flames of fire. The king, barely believing his eyes, changed his tune and attitude changed 180 degrees.
That day Nebuchadnezzar got a crash course in the supernatural power of our God. So did all the government officials gathered with him. Though the ropes that bound the three were burned off, the effects and smell of fire and smoke was completely absent from the bodies of these brave young men because there was a fourth Man in the fire with them. In essence those pagan officials believed that “even the fire and flames obey Him.”
Jesus smiled lovingly at His twelve companions. Yes, there’s much about Me you do not yet know, He thought. They knew the story of the three young Hebrew men but they had not connected the dots about Jesus being there too. Jesus yawned and stretched Himself out again in the keel of the boat and peacefully went back to sleep. The day would be a busy one when they got to shore.
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