Thursday, July 28, 2011
“for no other god can save in this way.”
Daniel 3:29b (NIV)
The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, captive young Israelites who dared to defy King Nebuchadnezzar by refusing to worship his golden idol, ends with a very exciting conclusion. After being bound and thrown into a fiery furnace for disobeying the king, our three friends are seen by an amazed Nebuchadnezzar walking around unbound in the fire, along with a fourth friend. The king calls them out of the fire. Everyone saw that not only were these young men unharmed, but they had no smell of smoke on them. The king declared that no one would be allowed to speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Nebuchadnezzar was amazed not only by their devotion in the face of horrific consequences, but in their God’s ability to save them.
It is amazing to think that three young men, captives living in a foreign land, were able to make such a deep impression on the pagan king. Their stand of obedience and devotion to God in the midst of severe trials caused Nebuchadnezzar to declare the ability of God to save. So therein lies the question for me.
Some days, life is hard. Sometimes, I struggle with doubt when things are not going according to my plan. But if a pagan king can declare God’s unique ability to save, what business do I, a child of God who has seen His mighty power in my life, have ever doubting that God will provide deliverance?
How about you? Where can you, along with Nebuchadnezzar, declare aloud your belief today in God’s ability to save you in whatever area you need deliverance?
No God can save like ours.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
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.
Daniel 3: 17 (ESV)
Daniel, chapter 3, contains the exciting story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, three young men who had been taken captive from their native Israel to serve the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. The king had built a golden idol and required everyone in the land to bow and worship his idol, but our young friends refused to obey. When Nebuchadnezzar furiously demanded a change in their behavior and threatened to throw them in a fiery furnace if they disobeyed, the men responded that they did not need to answer to the king. Our young friends went on to address the king in our verse above by telling him that their God was able to deliver them.
How many things in our lives would be different if we could simply absorb and confidently state this truth during our struggles?
Unemployment or underemployment in a tough economy? Our God is able.
Illness of a loved one or ourselves? Our God is able.
Heartbroken, lonely or sad? Our God is able.
Struggles with our children? Our God is able.
Frustrations of daily life? Our God is able.
Life can be difficult and challenging. Though there are often no easy answers to our struggles, how awesome is the truth that our God is able?
Where is your heart and mind struggling today? Ask God and He will help you rest your trust in His abilities today. He is able.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king,
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.”
Daniel 3:16 (ESV)
Have you ever felt out of your element and/or under the gun? I wonder if that is how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego felt in our verse today. Young men of Israel who had been taken captive and brought to the homeland of a pagan king, these individuals were being asked to bow down and worship an idol. When the king discovered they were disobeying his order, he raged and asked them who was going to deliver them from his hands. Our verse today was their reply.
What was the cause for such bravery? Nebuchadnezzar (the pagan king) was known for his fiery temper and extreme consequences for those who disobeyed his orders. (Daniel 1:10; 2:5; 2:13) The young men had been warned that refusal to worship the idol would mean being thrown into a fiery furnace. They had good reason to be afraid. As we look closer, we see that their bravery was not based on guarantees of their safety, but belief in their God. They would give their allegiance to no one but Him. He was the only one to whom they had to answer.
What a powerful response. How much I want to follow their example. Though I have never faced a pagan king or the threat of a fiery furnace, situations do arise in my daily life which call me to be brave. At these times, the only safe haven of confidence I have is knowing the power of the God I serve. My fears may taunt me, but I have no obligation to answer them.
What about you today? Are there fears in your heart and mind that seem to be demanding a response from you? Why not take some words from our young friends and tell your fears that you have no need to answer them? Your God is able.