Wednesday, May 18, 2016
There is a verse in the 3rd Chapter of the book of Daniel that is often misunderstood by many Christians. Permit me to lead into it. Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who were officials in the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzer, the king of Babylon, were about to be cast into a fiery furnace for refusing to bow down to an immense statue the king had made for himself. Unlike the rest of all the king’s subjects, these three refused to do so even after being given a second chance to change their mind. Even though the king proclaimed that if they did not comply, there was no god who could deliver them from his hands, they replied: “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.” (verses 16-17) But this is the verse that disrupts the theology of many believers: “But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”(verse 18)
Many who adhere to the erroneous “word of faith” doctrine have dared to announce that these three did not have enough faith, that they should have declared from the start “our God is going to save us from this fiery furnace, period!” How can anyone be so narrow minded to even suggest that anybody who is willing to die in a furnace for someone they believe in, does not have any faith? Obviously they chose to overlook the previous verse where they resolutely declared “the God we serve is able to deliver us!” These three were confident that the Lord was going to save them one way or another. If we could indeed bring things to existence and reality merely by declaring them, why would we even need the Lord? I heard of someone who positively declared last week that the Spurs were going to win this year’s NBA title. How did that go?
A line from one of my favorite Christian songs says: “I know not what the future holds,but I now Who holds the future.” That is a picture of faith, to keep on believing in God despite not knowing exactly what tomorrow holds for us. Job declared: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” (Job 13:15) In other words, “even if my life ends tomorrow, I will continue to believe in Him!” Things will not always go the way we want but they will go the way that God wants, and after all, He not only knows what’s best, He always does what’s best for us. Do you have this type of faith?
Memory verse for the week: (Isaiah 42:8) “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.”