Wednesday, November 18, 2015

God is Able, and HE WILL Deliver!

One of my favorite Bible stories is that of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. These were three Jewish young men exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon with their friend Daniel.

We usually recall them by their Babylonian names, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

As the account goes, King Nebuchadnezzar set up a Gold Statue that was 9 Stories Tall! He commanded that when the music played, all were to bow down and worship the image.

These three Jews, far from home, which was burned to the ground by this King, had every reason to abandon their faith and acclimate to their new culture which had great promise of wealth and pleasure for them.

However, they refused to bow.

This set the course of their destinies.

Here is the confrontation before the King:

Daniel 3:15b-18 [the King says] ...if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?"
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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."

Too many times we have misinterpreted what they actually said here. We read verse 17 and see their faith for deliverance, then we read verse 18 and interpret that they are saying, "even if God does not deliver us and we die, we still will not bow."

That is a beautiful sentiment and show of faithfulness to God in any circumstance, however, that is not what they were saying.

In the start of verse 17, "If that be the case..." is referring to the King's intention and threat to burn them to death.

In the start of verse 18, "But if not..." is referring to the same thing! (The King's intention and threat to burn them to death).

Think about that!

Let's reread verse 18 in that light:

18 But if not(but if it is not your intention and just an empty threat to burn us to death) 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."

In other words, "King Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this, whether you plan to kill us or not, GOD WILL DELIVER US!"

This is a 100% faith declaration of God's deliverance! 

Verse 17 bears this out, when they say: God is ABLE, and HE WILL deliver us.

No Fear!

No Doubt!

We often stop short with God is Able...yeah God could do that if He should decide to...

Faith speaks, and HE WILL!

I believe they may have recalled the words of the prophet Isaiah from 150 years before who had warned Jerusalem of their impending doom and exile to Babylon:

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. 

No matter what fires are burning around you this week, the Lord is our Deliverer!

Trust in Him with all your heart!

Your deliverance draws nigh!