Finding Hope in the Apparitions of life and death.
1,041,427 Scoville Heat
The ghost pepper is one of spiciest chili peppers in the world. So spicy, in fact, that the Indian Army uses them to make chili grenades. Yes, weaponized peppers.
So just how hot is a ghost pepper? Well, not only do they put other popular peppers — jalapeños and habaneros — to shame but also they are hot enough to fend off elephants, control civilian riots, and even kill you.
Speaking of killing you with heat, there is the story in the Bible about a ghost in the furnace.
King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
He demanded everyone in the Kingdom bow down and worship it. Anyone who would not bow down were to be thrown in a fiery furnace. We read this in Daniel 3:1-3.
The white-hot fire would, at times, get so intense the brick lining of the furnace would melt and run like molasses—this takes a temperature of about 3000 degrees, or ten times as hot as a baking oven.
Some scholars believe that the “fiery furnace” of Judeo-Christian scripture was, in fact, Baba Gurgur*, a natural gas seep near Kirkuk, Iraq. According to some estimates, the eternal flames at Baba Gurgur have been burning for over 4,000 years, although locals will claim that they have been burning since life began. –
Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with three Hebrew men: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual in order to insure the fire would surely kill them. Daniel 3:19
They were taken, tied and thrown into the fiery pit.
The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who bound Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and threw the three men, firmly tied, into the blazing furnace.
Looking into the fire King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
We see several supernatural miracles:
1) The guards were burned up
2) The ropes which bound the men burned and disappeared
3) The King witnessed a 4th person, Jesus, (God himself) dancing in the fire with the three men
4) Not even the smell of smoke from the burning flesh, ropes, etc. touched these men.
5) God’s redeeming love, power, and Supreme authority was revealed
God commands His people “not to make any idols or molded images” and not to bow down and worship false gods. When our faith is tested, we can rest assured Jesus will remain with us through every fiery trial.
When others see God work in our lives He will be glorified and praised.
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
“Fire goes out from his presence to consume his enemies on every side.” Psalm 97:3 NST
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon. Daniel 3:28-30
No matter what insurmountable circumstances lie before us, or ghostly apparition appears, Jesus, is there to save and rescue us from the eternal flames of hell.
From ashes to beauty…
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In Christ Alone we stand, all other ground is sinking sand.