Friday, October 22, 2010
Last Sunday I heard a sermon that provided some insight on the way that God works in our lives. As humans, sometimes we can feel so far away from God's grace. But the reality is we have an active God, an alive God, one that became human, not one that is apart from all things human. Consider this Scripture from Daniel chapter 3 as King Nebuchadnezzar attempts to throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fiery furnace for not worshiping his golden idol.
"[King Nebuchadnezzar said] But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?"
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in the matter. If this be so, our 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. 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."
Not only do these verses show us the extreme faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, but also how God is trusted to deliver them out of the situation. I agree with the pastor of the sermon who suggested God delivers us it 3 ways:
1) From the fire,
2) Through the fire, and
3) By the fire
In this case, the 3 men were delivered by God from the fire. However, throughout life we experience deliverance in the other ways. I think of men like Job who were delivered through the fire, and still stood strong and untouched in their faith. And I think of myself being delivered by the fire sometimes, as in stupidity and in my ignorance I am unaware of the Holy Spirit's work in my life.
At the end of the day, we know that God is good. And that no matter how he delivers us it is for the good. As Job once said, despite nearly going through hell, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. " (Job 1:21)