Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Daniel 3:28 -- On Deliverance or Not

"Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God."
Daniel 3:28

This is part of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who refused to worship the idol that Nebudchadnezzar (the king) had told everyone to worship.  At first, the king was super mad, and had the furnace heated up even hotter than normal, but afterward when he sees that the men he sent to throw them in died of the heat, but they were fine, he changes his mind.

Interestingly, towards the beginning of the story when the king is just threatening, he asks "who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?" (verse 15). They answer and say "our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace," but also leave it up to God, saying "But if not" (as in if the Lord doesn't deliver them even though he is able to), they still won't worship the idol. men tell the king that they aren't going to worship the idol (verses 16-17).

We know for certain that the Lord doesn't always save us from things, even though he is able to.  Perhaps in this case the Lord saved them just so they could impress the king and influence the decree he sends out at the end of the chapter, forbidding persecution against their God.  Perhaps it was a measure of their faith in the Lord... but I think an important part of that faith was faith that if they did the right thing, that God would make it right, now or later.  It wasn't about being delivered, but about staying true and trusting that God would take care of the rest, even if they died in a fiery furnace.

Today, let's work on trusting that doing God's will is always the right choice, whether we are delivered or not, and that God is able to change even the King's word, not through a power struggle, but by showing that he has all power to save, no matter the earthly consequence or trial. :)

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