Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 21&22, Daniel 3, Acts 1
“OUR GOD … IS ABLE TO DELIVER US”
The friends of Daniel; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in trouble, king Nebuchadnezzar in his pride, had set up an image of gold 60 cubits (about 90 ft) high “in the plain of Dura” [Dan. 3 v.1] and said, “when you hear the sound of… every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image …” [v.5] and if those who hear do “not fall down and worship (they) shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” [v.6]
Daniel is evidently not present, but his 3 friends are in trouble as Nebuchadnezzar’s servants report on their failure to obey his decree. The friends declare, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us … we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”[v. 17,18]
In a sense today, the vast majority serve the gods of the flesh and ignore their Creator, indeed; many say he does not exist – that everything sort of created itself! What an insult to the Creator! Is some sort of equivalent to the burning fiery furnace in store for them?
Twice, through Jeremiah (23 v.20; 30 v.24), this prophet is caused to write, “The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.” Our world deserves the “fierce anger” of the Creator – and when it comes let us be among those who say, “Blessed be … God …” who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him” [Dan. 3 v.28] Ponder Jesus’ words – Matt. 24 v.31,36.
We might think – this all happened thousands of years ago, Daniel is ‘lost’ in history – but Jesus refers to the prophet Daniel and what he predicted (Matt. 24 v.15) and Peter, in his last epistle, was caused to write, “The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief …. what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God ….” [3 v.11,12] In that day “our God whom we serve” “is able to deliver us” and will do so because we have become the “sort of people” he will seek to “deliver” “in that day,” Let us ponder the first 3 verses of Zephaniah ch, 3.