I’m a person that likes to know what’s going to happen. I like to be prepared. I’d ideally like to know in advance what will happen next so I can be fully ready and tackle it to the best of my ability. In some circumstances this can be a good trait, however in life, it’s not always.
I love how the words in the Bible challenge us when we don’t know we need to be challenged.
Recently, I was reading Daniel 3. King Nebuchadnezzar created a golden image and commanded all men to worship it—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship anyone but God. As punishment for their defiance, they were cast into the fiery furnace.
If I were one of them, I’d think God was going to rescue me but I’d want to know how. I’d probably be staring into the furnace working out whether something was going to swoop in and save me, if the furnace was going to suddenly become cold or if Nebuchadnezzar was going to change his mind.
Daniel 3: 17 (NIV) If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Daniel 3:17 confirms their faith. They know God is going to deliver them. They stand affirming this to the man who is about to kill them.
The bit that gets me is the start of verse 18. ‘But even if he does not.’
It takes a lot of courage to be staring into the fiery furnace but then saying ‘BUT EVEN IF’ He doesn’t do what we are believing for, we still trust him.
They believed that God was going to deliver them one way or another. Either they’d get their earthly miracle and be saved from the furnace, or they’d be delivered home to God. One way or another, they believed God would deliver them from this situation.
Jesus guaranteed our rescue by stepping into the fire himself. He faced our choices and took our pain, and always trusted in God’s will. “Not my will, but yours be done.”
While we’d rather avoid suffering and the unknown, God promises to bless us and others through it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire unharmed and as a result, Nebuchadenezzar believed; “for no other God can save in this way” (Daniel 3:29).
We might not understand what’s going on right now, things might not have gone the way we planned, we might not see where the story is heading but we do know that there will always be blessings as a result.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.