Wednesday 13th January 2021

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My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing that he cannot do.

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing that he cannot do.

The rivers are his, the mountains are his, the stars are his handiwork too.

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing that he cannot do.

Ruth Harms Calkin © 1959, 2002 Nuggets of Truth

Can you remember how you celebrated the change from the year 1999 to 2000? A lot has happened since then, and in the book of Daniel there is probably a similar time gap of around 20 years between the end of chapter 2 and the beginning of chapter 3. Although nothing is written down about those years, each of them would have brought challenges, tempting them to ‘fit-in’ with the rest of Babylonian society and forget about the God of Israel. Twenty years of daily routine during which Daniel and his 3 friends remain faithful throughout testing times,

Chapter 2 ended with Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar having his dream interpreted and declaring to Daniel that  “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries” (2:47).

What happens to the King’s faith in Daniel’s God over the next 20 years? Well, perhaps the clue lies in the fact that the king never declared that Daniel’s God was also his God. King nebuchadnezzar never accepted the sovereignty of God over his own life.

Chapter 3 doesn’t mention Daniel, just his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Perhaps the explanation is that as second-in command of the country, Daniel has been sent as the King’s ambassador to some other part of the Empire. Read Daniel chapter 3.

It is all too easy for us to stand in judgement of King Nebuchadnezzar, but before doing so we should consider how much we like to hear people say nice things about us. How important is it to you, to present the right image to people so that they think well of you, maybe even admire you?

Read Matthew 4: 8-10.

This challenge was only a temptation if there was something within Jesus which would have liked to have had his power acknowledged and worshipped. There is an aspect of being human which delights in being praised by other people and while Jesus resisted this temptation, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t and had the power to turn this desire into reality.

To help you understand the unwavering faith Shadrack Meshack and Abednego had in God, let me tell you about someone who lived a few hundred years after Jesus had brought to us God’s salvation.

John Chrysostom, is sometimes referred to as one of ‘the early church fathers’, he lived in the late 4th and early 5th century in Constantinople. History tells us that one day he was brought before the emperor and commanded to renounce his faith in Christ.  

The emperor threatened John, saying if he would not renounce Christ, he would be banished from the country forever - he would be separated from his father’s land for the rest of his life. John responded, “You cannot. The whole world is my Father’s land. You cannot banish me.”

The emperor replied, “Then I will take away all of your property and treasures.” John replied, “You cannot, for all my true treasures are in heaven.”

The emperor then said, “I will send you to a place of absolute solitude where there is not one friend for you to talk to.” John replied, “You cannot, for I have a friend that is closer than a brother to me. He is Jesus Christ, who has promised to be with me always - to the very end of the age.”

In anger the emperor then said, “I will then take your life.” John said, “You cannot. for my life is forever hidden in Christ with God.”

While we may never find ourselves being command to renounce our faith in God as these men did, we can see in them a faith which will enable us to remain faithful throughout testing times. They each put their faith in what they know about the character and nature of God. They rely on God’s unchanging, unending love for us.

Use these words to lead you into prayer, thanking God for his reliability:

Faithful One, so unchanging, Ageless One,

You're my Rock of Peace. Lord of all I depend on You,

I call out to You, again and again. I call out to You, again and again.

You are my Rock in times of trouble; You lift me up when I fall down.

All through the storm Your love is the anchor, my hope is in You alone

Brian Doerksen © 1989 Mercy Publishing Thankyou Music

 

You might find it helpful to listen on YouTube to: Lauren Daigle - Trust In You (Lyric Video) & By the Grace of God - Tim Hughes


Page last updated: 15th January 2021 7:08 AM