Thursday, July 3, 2014

But If Not

The North Star of trust shines, draws, guides, blinds me … every time I listen. 

And offers hope.

We are campers and it is summer. The familiar words of Daniel 3 come to life again. 

I read the story to our GRAND-children; I hear God whispering to me.

“… and no smell of fire had come upon them.” (Daniel 3:27) Those words connect our summer campfires with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s experience. But I digress. Allow me to back up.

Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, full of himself, built (I bet he ordered others to build it for him) a statue, a huge golden image—90 feet tall and 9 feet wide—erected for all posterity to remember his royal name and his decrees.

Upon completion of this image, he invited all the bigwigs from the neighboring countries to come, to admire it, and to bow down in worship to it threatening death by fire for non-compliance.

But Nebuchadnezzar, in the midst of his pagan kingdom, also employed God-fearing men; Jews who had earned his respect, among them Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 

These three paid no attention to the king or his order to worship the golden image. And they were found out. The king offered them a second chance with the reminder of the consequences. After all they were appointed officials over all the affairs of Babylon.

They held their ground. They knew that God was able to deliver them from this threat and God would deliver them. Then they added this caveat …

But if not … they still would not worship Nebuchadnezzar’s god.

You know how the story progresses; let me highlight the end.

When they were pulled from the furnace, the fire had not affected them. Their hair was not singed, their clothes not burned, not even a smell of smoke! Our clothes smell smoky from just sitting around a small campfire on a starlit night. 

Even King Nebuchadnezzar recognized the source of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s strength. 

They trusted their God, they set aside the king’s command in deference to their God, and they willingly yielded even their very lives to the truth they knew. (Daniel 3:28)

Trust, set aside, yield. Words I need to remember; words I need to act on in my culture. And those other three words …

But if not. Even when God doesn’t respond according to my expectations, I still will trust.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heat, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”                                                                          Proverbs 3:5 and 6

1 comment:

  1. Sue, your blog writings speak directly to me. God is repeating a series events , Bible study (private & pubic