Monday, February 29, 2016

Daniel 3: opposing idolatry

There will be situations during which your faith in the Living God might face some real challenges. It might even be a matter of life and death: Hashem might challenge your faith in a tremendous way in order to see if you really love Him.
Engaging with Hashem is not a promise that your path is necessary going to be simple. Discipleship requires a total committment and it might cost you everything ( even your life).

What is the reward when our life is in jeopardy?

Either we will die physically and be with our Lord forever or He will deliver us from the hand of our murderous enemies.

Bowing before the king's idol or death

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a statue of gold. Everybody was supposed to follow the Royal decree and to bow before it when hearing the sound of the instruments. Anybody caught disobeying would immediately sign their death arrest.
Through the different stories reported in the Book of Daniel, we realize that Nebuchadnezzar experienced the greatness of the God of Israel. However and despite what he saw and experienced, he continued to make himself guilty of idolatry.

Denunciation and faithfulness of Daniel's companions

In times of dictatorship, you will often find denunciators and gossipers.  Some Chaldeans obviously wanted the young Jews' demise.
More recent stories (in a very different context) point at the denunciation of Jewish and other people who opposed nazism during WWII. 

It is admirable to see people who fully trust Hashem and who will never compromise their faith in favor of vain idols. We also have the very contemporary example of the 4 Iraqi children who refused to deny Yeshua our Messiah. By mentioning them, I would like to honor these wonderful kids' memory.

Unconditional faith in the God of Israel who has the power to deliver in any kind of situation, this is the type of faith Daniel's companion expressed before the king-and they were powerfully delivered.
The little kids from Badgad were not delivered, but they will be highly rewarded in Heaven.

May our Lord fortify us all in the face of persecution and give us the strength to stand up for Him!

Deliverance in the furnace

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego did not suffer any damage from the fire. Most amazingly, they met the Son of Man within the burning fire.
The king witnessed this impressing encounter. 
Nebuchadnezzar would not allow anybody to speak badly about the God of Israel.

Mighty is our Lord of glory. Let us put all trust in Him. I do pray that the God of Israel fortifies you all. May you experience His love and greatness every day.

Copyright© by Isabelle Esling

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