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A Thought For Your Christian Journey:

 

But If Not . . .

Daniel 3:16-18 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

This last Sunday evening we had the privilege of hearing Dr. Chelli speak from Daniel three on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  As he was speaking it occurred to me again that their answer to Nebuchadnezzar teaches us volumes about how we ought to view and respond to the worst of situations.  Certainly, these three men were in the worst possible situation.  They faced an egotistical tyrant who was so proud that he erected a monstrous image of himself and demanded that everyone bow down to it and worship it.  Yet, Daniel and these three Hebrews refused to submit to such blatant idolatry.  They would worship the Lord God Almighty and Him alone. 

King Nebuchadnezzar gave them a second chance before he rendered his verdict but these three remained faithful to Jehovah God.  They said, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, . . .”  They essentially said, If it’s God’s will, He can deliver us from this furnace.  What really grabs my attention here is that these three men had not received any sure Word from God; there is no indication of any dream vision on the preceding night, nothing about any angelic messenger declaring their supernatural rescue.   No specific revelation of insuing deliverance is granted in any way.  Sounds a lot like many of the situations we find ourselves in, doesn’t it? 

Yet, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stand firm in their faith and still obey God faithfully.  All these three needed to determine to be faithful were the commands that they had already been given by God as written in the revealed Word of God.  Their faithfulness was not mere sham it was real and sincere.  How sincere was their faith?  It was fiery firm and sure, tested by literal fire.  These three went to the oven in their faith.  They did not need a supernatural intervention from God to remain faithful to Him, they were faithful regardless.  They even said, “But if not, . . .,” thus revealing that even if they were to perish in the furnace, they would go in faithfulness. 

How about you?  Do you trust God enough, that if you must say, “But if not, . . .” you too will be faithful to your Heavenly Father and your Lord Jesus Christ?  I pray you do!

 



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