Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Today’s Topic: Complete Trust
Today’s Text: Daniel 3:28 (ESV) 28 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.”
Sunday after church I spotted a new family in the atrium of our building. I made a beeline for them as I had not met them yet. I introduced myself to the gentleman who was obviously the father of a little girl he was holding. After exchanging names and a handshake, I asked what the name of his little girl was. She turned her head from his shoulder, looked into my eyes, and lunged towards me with extended arms. As I took her into my arms, she nestled her head into my neck and gave me the warmest and most loving hug I had had since the one I got from my wife before we left for church. It lasted a long time. It was a moment of joy, but more than that it was a moment of complete trust.
As I talked to the parents, I discovered that this little girl didn’t go to everyone like that, but that she had displayed this incredible ability to know the trustworthiness of people based on looking into their eyes. I made an immediate connection with her, and this little downs syndrome two-year old is my new special friend.
It is that kind of trust that I want to have in my Lord and Savior. It is the kind of trust I see in the lives of three men from the book of Daniel, and it was obvious to those who lived around them and with them in their day.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had taken a stand against an incredibly arrogant king who had set up a huge idol for the people to worship. King Nebuchadnezzar had issued a nation-wide command that every person was to bow down and worship the idol whenever they heard music being played. If they didn’t, they would be thrown into a furnace and burned to death.
God’s three chosen men for that time refused to bow down, and the Chaldeans, the Pharisees of their day, brought Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before the king for their punishment. King Nebuchadnezzar explained the rules to them, and the punishment for disobedience, and then asked them a question that revealed his arrogance – “And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Or, to put it in the language of our current lives, “Is there really a god who can handle things better than I can?”
At this point I would be tempted to launch into an apologetic defense of the existence of God and take it upon myself to prove to the king that his views are wrong. But that would be equally arrogant. Instead, the three men of God simply respond, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
They are immediately whisked away to the fiery furnace that has been heated to seven times its normal heat, and as the door is opened to throw them in, the guards holding them are instantly killed. But not God’s men. The One and Only God of all creation, the King of kings and Lord of lords, has accompanied His people into the fire and it does not touch them.
When the king sees it, and has them removed, they don’t even smell like smoke let alone show any signs of burning. Then the king declares “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had so much trust in God that the declared two things to King Nebuchadnezzar – that God is able to save, and that God is worthy of trust whether He rescues or not. Based on his response to what happened, the king learned both of those lessons. True trust in God results in the yielding up of our lives, our ambitions, our dreams, our desires to serve the living God rather than serve and worship the god of self.
Go ahead, look into His eyes, and discover that He can be trusted with your life. Then lunge into His arms and stay there.