Yesterday, I rehashed a specific story in the Old Testament; a story that made others say, “He’s Alive!”
These words, I imagine, were expressed many times throughout the Scriptures and today, my goal is to document them- giving a brief account of each just in case you need a quick refresher of the stories. If not, feel free to simply scroll down and be reminded of their names.
Here we go:
Joseph– Gen. 37, 39, 40-45
Long story short: Jealousy caused his brothers to throw him into a pit. They pondered killing him, but saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming their way. The brothers decided to sell him to this caravan heading to Egypt. Joseph was purchased a second time by a man named Potiphar who was an officer of Pharaoh. And the LORD was with Joseph, is what we are told over and over throughout his story. Joseph was given dreams from the LORD, one which warned him that a famine was coming and His plan of provision. His brothers came to Egypt from Canon to purchase food from their store houses. Over a course of time, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers: “Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.” (Gen. 45:3)
“He’s Alive!” they must have screamed. “He is alive and well!”
And forgiveness was granted.
Esther: Esther 4-5
Long story short: Esther, a Jew, was chosen by King Ahasuerus to be the queen after his former queen, Queen Vashti had been exiled from the kingdom. Ahasuerus’ second-hand man, Haman, was out to destroy, kill, and annihilate all Jews (including both young and old, women, and children). When Esther’s uncle, Mordecai, heard of this, he shared all that he knew with Esther, seeing that she was the only one who could possibly do something to stop Haman. This would require her to go to the king without being summoned. That could easily lead to death: “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law– to be put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter so that he may live,” (Esther 4:11).
Had Esther come to the kingdom for such a time a this? She rose up: “Go, gather the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then, I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish,” (v. 16).
Queen Esther did go before King Ahasuerus. She was not put to death, rather granted favor when he said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom,” (5:3).
“She’s Alive!” those in the kingdom must have cheered. “She’s Alive!” is what the young women in her court must have also remarked. “She is alive and well!”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego- Dan. 3
Long story short: These three Jewish men were taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He was a dictator who told all of the people in his kingdom that they were to worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. The consequence for not obeying this order was told to all, “And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” When word got back to Nebuchadnezzar that these three refused to serve his gods and worship the golden image that he had set up, Nebuchadnezzar grew furious, commanding that they be brought to him at once. He reminded them of the consequence of refusing to bow down to his gods and golden image. They didn’t buckle. They didn’t flinch. They didn’t apologize. “If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Dan. 3:17-18).
Now the king was enraged. He ordered the furnace to be heated up seven times more than it was usually heated (v. 19). The men were bound together and cast into the ultra-hot furnace. The flame was so hot, in fact, that the men who were in charge of casting the rule breakers into the furnace were killed. When Nebuchadnezzar saw four men, unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, unharmed, he was dumbfounded. “The appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods,” he declared. He called them out of the furnace, and so they did.. . untouched by the flames. Not a hair on their heads was singed, not a thread on their garments touched, not an ounce of fire smell on any of them.
“They’re Alive!” onlookers must have screamed. “They’re Alive.” King Nebuchadnezzar must have shouted in defeat. “We’re Alive!” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego must have said, rejoicingly.
Daniel– Dan. 6
Long story short: Daniel, friend of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was also a Jewish captive in the land of Babylon. He too, was persecuted for his loyalty to God and when he was caught praying (even though he had been warned that doing so would get him cast into the lions den), he was thrown into a den of lions who were famished. Scripture tells us that an angel was sent by God into the den to shut the lions’ mouths (v. 22) and that “No harm was found on him because he had trusted in his God,” (v. 23). Interestingly, those who tattled on Daniel were thrown into the same den and we read this, “And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all of their bones in pieces,” (v. 24). I wanted to include this so that there was no misunderstanding.. . this den of lions was not a safe place; these were not lions who had somehow become herbivores. God simply stepped in and saved Daniel.
“He’s Alive!” King Darius rejoiced. “He’s alive and well!”
After King Darius found Daniel alive, he said, “I make a decree that in all my royal dominion, people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for He is a living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, He who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions,” (Dan. 6:26-27).
Jonah- Jonah 1-2
Long story short: Jonah had been instructed by the LORD to go to Nineveh, a city who had given into evil and temptation, and speak on behalf of the LORD. That task seemed too much for Jonah (so he thought), so instead of obeying, he got on a ship and went the opposite way to Tarshish, hoping to flee from the LORD. A storm came up and the sailors cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. He was thrown overboard and “the sea ceased from raging,” (1:15).
“And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights,” (1:17).
During this time, Jonah had time to think and ponder and to cry out to the LORD.
Then, “the LORD spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land,” (2:10).
Jonah must have risen to his knees and cried, “I’m Alive!” If anyone watched this happen, the words, “He’s Alive!” must have crossed their minds.
Girl- Mathew 9:18-26
Long story short: A ruler came to Jesus, knelt before him, and said, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live,” (Matt. 9:18). Jesus and his disciples followed this ruler to his house. He told everyone present that she was not dead, rather sleeping. “And they laughed at him,” (v. 24). The crowd was ordered outside and Jesus went to the daughter, “took her by the hand, and the girl arose,” (v. 25).
“She’s alive!” everyone must have shouted. “The report of this went through all that district,” (v. 26).
Widow’s Son- Luke 7:11-17
Jesus, his disciples, and a great crowd went to a town called Nain. As Jesus neared the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. This man had been the only son of his mother and she was a widow. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, her provision seemed to have vanished. “When the LORD saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he went and touched her dead son and said, “Young man, I say to you, “arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak,” (vv. 13-14).
“He’s Alive!” his mother must have wept. “He’s Alive!” What a shocker to the bearers who were carrying him out. Mouths dropped, they must have whispered, “He’s Alive!”
Lazarus- John 11:1-44
Long story short: Lazarus, along with his sisters Mary and Martha were dear friends of the Lord’s. When Jesus arrived in their hometown of Bethany, Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days (v. 17). Martha went running out to meet him when she heard he was coming and shortly into the conversation Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again,” (v. 23). She had no idea what Jesus was saying, although she thought she understood. When Jesus came to the tomb, he asked that the stone which lay against it be moved. “Lord, by this time there will be an odor,” warned Martha, “He has been dead four days,” (v. 39). After lifting His eyes up to heaven and thanking God, “He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth,” (v. 44).
You know as well as I do, that everyone person in that crowd gasped and cried out, “He’s Alive!”
There you have it. God has the power to do anything. The words “He’s Alive!” have been uttered throughout history. The best “He’s Alive” is coming tomorrow!