In The Fire

18th September

 

So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants (trousers), turbans, robes, and other garments. And because the king in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in.

Daniel 3:21-22

Daniel was one of the most noble and God-fearing men to ever live in the Old Testament. He was faithful, a man of integrity but more than anything, he loved God and refused to compromise God’s holy standards. His God-fearing attitude was contagious. In fact so great was his contagious characteristics, that even pagan Kings came to recognise God’s greatness through his life. Furthermore, even his own friends were encouraged by his faith and persevering attitude, which almost caused their death.

King Nebuchadnezzar, was one of the most powerful kings to ever rule over the Babylonian Empire, yet his infatuation with power and wealth blinded his eyes to see who the ONE true God was. He foolishly built a statue out of pure gold, (that measured 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide), and ordered everyone to bow down and worship it. He issued an oath that anyone who refused to do so would be thrown into a fiery furnace. Of course, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were three men who refused to compromise.

Nebuchadnezzar anger was so great that his face became distorted with rage. So much so that he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than it normally was. Even the guards who threw them into the furnace died because of the intense heat. Yet God had other plans for His servants who refused to compromise. Not only did God save them from the fire, but He also sent a divine being to stand in the fire with them, to comfort and protect them. In fact so great was their protection that when they left the fire, no hair on their head was singed and they didn’t even smell of smoke.

When we refuse to compromise God’s holy standards, sometimes danger awaits us. However, we danger does come, we can be sure that God will never leave us. Even in the midst of a fiery furnace, God still can send His comforting presence. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Although we may face great danger for living lives of integrity, the blessings that await, far out weigh the pain of suffering.

Slow To Anger

17th September

 

He revealed His character to Moses and His deeds to the people of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with un-failing love.

Psalm 103:7-8

During the Israelites trip to the promised land, after God had graciously set them free from their bondage at the hands of the Egyptians under the leadership of Moses, time and time again the people dis-honoured God, did not trust Him for their daily provisions or feared the worst when confronted with troubles. Yet what they didn’t realise or at least didn’t appreciate, is that for 40 years their shoes never got worn out and they were daily provided with manna and quail to feed them. Moreover, God was ever merciful with them and kept pouring His love over them, even when they didn’t deserve it. God truly revealed His character to Moses and His deeds of love and kindness to the people of Israel.

God hasn’t changed. He is still that same compassionate and merciful God that we saw in the Israelites Exodus. He is still slow to anger and is still full of un-failing love; even when we don’t deserve it. God is for us and not against us. He lives to be spur us on, not to trip us up. He is our God and worthy to be praised.