The Power of An Idea
He had never received a communication from God. All he had was a conviction that God exists, One, and All-Powerful. He understood that the idols in his father’s factory were no more than dolls. They had no power. His ideas were dangerous. The entire power structure of his world was based on idol worship. Nimrod, the ruler of the area, felt threatened by Abraham’s idea and its power and attraction. He sentenced Abraham to a long prison term and tortured him for ten years.
Abraham withstood the torture because he believed in his idea. He refused to pretend to cooperate with Nimrod and the local temples. He wasn’t waiting for a communication with from God. He believed in his idea and was willing to suffer torments for his convictions.
Word spread about Abraham and his unbending will. Nimrod’s Tower of Babel project had resulted in disaster. And people began to pay attention to the young upstart. Nimrod was not going to allow Abraham’s prestige to spread.
The king ordered that a limekiln be heated to its typical temperature of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. He ordered Abraham’s family to watch as their son and brother would be destroyed in the furnace for the sake of an idea that held little attraction to the local populace. Nimrod could not believe that Abraham would be willing to die for an idea. The young man had never claimed to speak for God. He did not claim to be a miracle worker. He did not even claim a special relationship with this All-Powerful, distant God. Why would Abraham be willing to die for his idea?
He was willing to die for his convictions. He refused to compromise. I can picture Terach and Amitlai, Abraham’s mother, desperately trying to convince him that an idea is one thing, but a painful death is an entirely different matter. “Pretend!” “You don’t really have to believe in the idols. Why give up everything for an idea?”
Abraham refused to listen. He fully expected to die. Nimrod’s soldiers tossed him into the fire, and the heavens shook. The angels were outraged. God insisted that He directly save this hero, and Abraham lived.
He had his first meeting with God. The miracle was a magnificent manifestation of God’s power and appreciation of Abraham’s heroic conviction to pursue truth.
It was not a miracle that saved Abraham. The power of his idea lifted him above the rules of nature and a new life was to begin. But first…
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