Thursday, March 1, 2012

But if not...

If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." Dan. 3:17, 18 (NKJV)

But if not...
I believe with all my heart that God is able. He is able to heal every kind of disease. He is able to alter circumstances. He is able to change hearts.  He is able to quench fires. He is even able to raise the dead.  That is also what these three Hebrew boys believed.  They said as the king!  They were willing to bet their lives on God's ability to deliver them from the fires of the angry king's furnace.  What an awesome faith!

We call these the three children (and they were indeed young men), but we should rather call them the three champions.  They did not break out into any heated remarks or passion against those that worshiped the golden image; nor did they go out of their way to court martyrdom. But, when they were called to the trial, they defended themselves bravely, with a conduct and courage that honored God and His purpose.  Their stance against the idol was confident and strong and they kept their temper admirably well.  They did not use the authority of God to call the king a tyrant or an idolater, but, with extreme calmness, they deliberately gave their answer, which they resolved to abide by.  We could well learn from them that the cause of God does not need the anger and wrath of men to communicate its message.

They know they must obey God rather than man.  The clear commandment of God rang in their ears; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to any images, nor worship them. Therefore none of these threats move them; they are resolved rather to die in their integrity than live in their iniquity. While their brethren, who yet remained in their own land, were worshipping images by choice, they in Babylon would not be brought to it by constraint.  There was no use in deliberation for them for their choice was made before the question was asked.  What an incredible example of character and courage!

Not only did they have such faith that they were able to say their God was able to deliver them, BUT that even if He chose not to do so, they will still do the right thing.  That, my friend, is an unbeatable faith.  What can Satan or his minions do to someone with that kind of faith?  It is a devil-beating, disaster-taming, death-defying faith.

How about you?  What will you do if God doesn't?  What if that cancer is not cured?  What if you really are laid off?  What if he (she) does not come back?  Will you still believe?  Will you still love God?  Will you still do the right thing?  If you can trust God even when your faith is put through the fiery trial then you have a foundation that is unshakable, a treasure chest of hope that will never be empty.  You have the kind of faith that baffles the world and infuriates the devil.  And you have the kind of God who is able to deliver you...whether it is from the fire or through the fire. He is able.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)

Devotional Archive