It’s no secret to the Christian that the Bible is a supernatural book. From the virgin birth and the resurrection to the power in the blood, many can testify of reading the exact passage they need at the exact moment they need it. The Bible is a living Word.
This is especially exciting to those of us who love all things speculative. The question what if drives us to imagine new worlds, technologies, and even systems of magic. What many people, even Christians, forget or fail to realize is just how relevant the Bible is for the speculative reader. Here are a few examples of spectacular stories found in the Bible, but there are many more. I encourage you to seek them out and let us know what you find!
Time travel? You bet.
Hezekiah was a mighty king who did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. He followed in the footsteps of his ancestor, King David, and he ruled over Judah after the kingdom of Israel had been split in two.
After Hezekiah tore down the idols and restored proper faith throughout his kingdom, the king of Assyria came up against them. It looked as if he would take Hezekiah, but God sent an angel to smite the Assyrian army and they were defeated. (You can read all about Hezekiah in II Kings 18–20, II Chronicles 29–31, and Isaiah 36–39.)
We learn in II Chronicles, though, that these great happenings caused Hezekiah to get a little puffed up and proud. He became ill, and the prophet Isaiah was sent to tell him he was going to die. Hezekiah fell on his face and humbled himself. He asked God for mercy and God complied. He even gave the king a sign to prove his intent—he turned back the shadows ten degrees. No one knows exactly how much time ten degrees was, but the general consensus based on today’s measurements is around twenty minutes.
Is this a huge time travel? Considering none of us can do it, I’d say yes.
The writing is on the wall
This is a popular phrase that has come to mean that any given thing is inevitable. The writing is already on the wall—it’s going to happen. But the phrase has its roots in the Biblical book of Daniel.
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against Israel and besieged it. He took all of their treasures, as well as the people whom he made captives. We’ve heard the story of Daniel in the lion’s den, and you’ve almost certainly heard of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
At some point after these happenings, Nebuchadnezzar dies and his son, Belshazzar, becomes king. He was a wicked king who didn’t learn from his father’s mistakes, and one day he threw a great feast. In the midst of the feast, he calls for the vessels from his father’s conquest of Judah to be brought forth. He and his guests were going to drink their wine out of these vessels, which had come from the holy temple.
Daniel 5: 5–6 says:
“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”
I think it’s safe to say he was afraid. His wife suggests he call for Daniel, who used to advise King Nebuchadnezzar, and when Daniel arrives his news is not good. The Bible tells us that on that very night Belshazzar was slain.
So, what did the hand write on the wall, and what did it mean?
MENE – God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.
TEKEL – Thou are weighted in the balances, and art found wanting.
PERES – Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
A zombie apocalypse? Not quite, but still …
In the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John we are given the account of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. You are no doubt familiar with this story, which is the core of our hope and salvation.
But during the account of Christ’s crucifixion, sandwiched between the veil of the temple being rent in twain and the centurion saying, “Truly this was the Son of God,” we have a few intriguing verses. Matthew 27: 52–53 says:
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
What happened to these bodies once they’d finished appearing to people in the city? What did they say to the people they came upon? What does it all mean? We may never know until we get to Heaven, but this story further exemplifies my point—the Bible is a spectacular book.
I’ll end here with the same sentiment I started with—a challenge to read the Bible for yourself, study it, and discover all the wonders it holds. If you’ve studied other spectacular stories from God’s word (or you have more insight into the stories I’ve given here) and you’d like to share them with us, please tell us in the comments!
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