Either Way God is Lord

Daniel 3:16–18

16 iShadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, nour 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.4 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

We have a very bad habit of read over things in the bible and going straight to the victory parts.  We as Christians are scanners not readers of the Holy Scriptures.  Better yet, we can be very topical in how we spend time with the Word of God.  What makes these words of scripture so powerful to me is not so much their faith but faith in action, producing trust.  The furnace is not the only thing they will endure or even have endured up to this point.  Their country is in ruins, many of their people have been killed and they themselves have been captured with many others.  Also, since they serve in the King’s court they have been castrated.  As far as they know, they will never see home as well as never have a family of their own.

These three men have had their past destroyed and their future erased. In the present conditions there is no reason to even hope.  Nebuchadnezzar’s conquering of Israel was done in a way to crush the nation into submission.  To watch your God given land of milk and honey be destroyed as well as seeing the enemy carry away the ark should exterminate a person’s hope.  Add to this that the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah told the people that God would do this to them because of disobedience.  All that gave them their identity and their God is now a distance dream and fading memory.  And even though their disobedience lead to this judgement, I’m sure some would cry I don’t deserve this!
With all of this on their hearts and minds they continued to serve God and God alone.  They refuse to bow to another god no matter the circumstances. But what surprises me is not their boldness in faith that God would deliver them. This display of faith is what we zero in on because God is seen in the fire with them.  God is seen there in the middle of their sufferings.  God is seen there in the midst if their trials and tribulations.  God is seen there with them in a distant land protecting them.  God did in fact deliver them and because of that, everything else is forgotten.
First, God delivered them into the hands of suffering. Secondly, God was present before the fire was ignited. Thirdly, God was in the fire; He stood next to them during the imposed suffering. Fourthly, God presented His presence in a way that displayed His majesty to the enemy before deliverance was completed. Finally, the faithfulness, mercy, love, blessings, grace, and glory of God had already delivered the three men, in that they was going to worship God even if God did not “show up”.  But why? Because they knew of the exodus, the wilderness, crossing the Jordan, the ark of the covenant and how God chose Israel. They actually knew God and they knew God had already been more gracious to them and the Nation of Israel more than they desired.  So if God had delivered them to death, it would not change their relationship and love of God.  To them it didn’t matter either way, blessing or curse; God is Lord always.  Their recognizing God as Lord blessed God just as much as their faith in God.  Their view of God as Lord gave them the peace and boldness to have audacious faith. Saying God is Lord means, having beyond a basic understanding of Him in complete control of everything and everyone.  It means knowing not only a persons attributes but their character.  It is assurance in their leadership, integrity, faithfulness, wisdom and purposes.  Seeing God as Lord also requires humility.  To call God Lord, we must deny our will for His.  We must submit in humility to God.  Our entire will being must be submitted to the King.  Our hearts must be given over to God, then we will lovingly call Him Lord. This brings peace during the terrible storms, times of captivity, exile, seasons of lack, tribulations, persecutions, and wondering.  This peace is rooted in faith, guarded by humility, soaked in grace, fueled by love and rests in The Lord under His perfect care.  To call God Lord is saying my identity is in Him, my purpose is in Him, my life is in Him, and what I possess is because He wishes to bless Himself in me.  He is the father and I am his child.
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