Some Bible stories seem to thrill the heart and imagination more than others. I enjoy meditating on Scripture, and the following is my own brief “top ten” list of days for which I would like to have been present. What days would be on your list?
#10 — The day Paul preached in Athens (Acts 17) — Not only did Paul address some of the most learned men on earth at the time, but he boldly preached God’s message of judgment and repentance (Acts 17:30). Such wisdom and courage is rarely seen.
#9 — The day Daniel and his friends were judged (Daniel 1) — These Godly young men stood firm for the principles of their faith, and God blessed them for it. Where are the young people today who will do likewise?
#8 — The day Paul said goodbye to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20) — Paul’s exhortation was moving enough, but the tenderness and depth of relationship between Paul and these elders makes this a day worth remembering. I only wish that all Christians could love each other with such a pure-hearted fervency.
#7 — The day Israel crossed the Red Sea (Exodus 14) — It’s hard to imagine the sheer energy of that day, as millions of people were delivered from captivity by the power of God. He is indeed a Great Redeemer!
#6 — The day Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22) — I would like to have witnessed the faith of this man who could genuinely say that he loved God more than anything else in this life. Sometimes we all try to hold on to our blessings too tightly.
#5 — The day the exiles re-laid the foundation of the temple (Ezra 3) — Few accounts in Scripture are so emotional and profound. A mixture of weeping and shouting was heard, “a great distance away,” as these people recognized that God had not abandoned them. It was a day full of all the emotions involved in coming home after a long absence.
#4 — The day Jesus fed the 5000 (John 6) — The only miracle recorded in all four Gospel accounts must have been something extraordinary. I can only imagine the amazement of the crowd (and the apostles!) as a boy’s lunch provided twelve leftover baskets of food after everyone had a full stomach. Jesus is indeed the Great Provider.
#3 — The day Elijah challenged Baal’s prophets on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18) — It’s hard to imagine one man standing alone against 850 false prophets. I would like to have seen the fire rain down from heaven as it consumed even the water around the sacrifice that Elijah had prepared. What an amazing victory for truth!
#2 — The day of Pentecost (Acts 2) — I would like to have heard the very first preaching of the resurrected Christ. I would like to have seen the faith and response of those 3000 who “gladly received the word” and were baptized. How stirring it must have been to see the very first gathering of the church of Christ on that day.
#1 — The day Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) — Jesus is the Master Preacher. He spoke with simplicity, clarity, and depth, and His authoritative tone and words caused those who heard Him to marvel. The “heart” of Christianity has never been more fully and profoundly explained than it was on that day.
This personal list is presented in order to stimulate others to think, dream, and meditate upon God’s word more. For what Biblical days would you have been present? —JB