God is able to deliver – Part 1
No doubt, one of the greatest stories of the Old Testament is that of the three Hebrew boys in a foreign land, who refused to bow before the golden image set up by King Nebuchadnezzar. The names of those Hebrew boys were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, though they were popularly known by their Babylonian names i.e. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Dan. 1: 7). During the same time, Daniel was also given the name Belteshazzar. Why did they allow themselves to be called Babylonian names? Maybe they saw nothing wrong with it. Maybe they thought it would be for easy communication and relationship among the Babylonians, just as some believers opt for certain names for political and economic purposes.
Whatever may be the case, at this point in their lives, they came to realise that the devil will never stop his antics, until one day you tell him enough is enough. It is not too late to say ‘no’ to the devil. At this time, they decided to defy the king’s order. They resolved not to worship any other god, but Jehovah. Others may worship the golden image out of fear, but they would fear no evil.
Others may worship it out of the desire to please the king, but they would please no one but God. Others may worship the image so as not to jeopardise their economy, Jehovah Jireh is sufficient for them. Their statement in Daniel 3: 16-18 reveals their absolute conviction, strong hope in Jehovah and unwavering resolve. Dearly beloved, wherever you are found, take your stand for Jesus and make it known.
You must not only believe that God is able, but also declare it. We must note that God’s decision not to act in some circumstances does not in anyway portray His inability. God is able. It is not a matter of God was able or will be able. He is always able, ever able. He is able.
(A) The King’s Reaction- (Dan. 3: 8-20)
Some talebearers informed the king, who became furious and changed his attitude. He commanded the furnace to be heated up seven times with strong soldiers tying the men up and throwing them into the furnace. This is indeed the handiwork of the enemies; I mean enemies of progress. In spite of all, God was faithful. In your furnace of life, you will find God faithful.
According to C. H. Spurgeon, there are three kinds of furnace in life: (1) The furnace which God prepares to test His people- Trials meant to refine us (2) The furnace which Satan blows with his power to discourage men. (3) The furnace, which men kindle against men. As if there were not enough misery in the world, men are the greatest tormentors to their fellowmen, not the devil.
Today, we have the furnace of slavery, oppression, bondage, slander, bad governance, kidnapping and so on. But if you find yourself in any furnace, be rest assured that there is a God, Who can turn the furnace of life to an Air Conditioned room. The furnace was hot enough when heated once, but now seven times. The hotter the enemies try to make the furnace for you this year, the cooler it shall be for you. Amen.
Rev. Dr Israel Kristilere, Shepherdhill Baptist Church,
(Sanctuary of Grace & Glory), Baptist Academy Compound,
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