Our God Will Deliver Us... BUT IF NOT!
By David J. Stewart
Daniel 3:17-18, If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
What a precious passage of Scriptures. The wicked Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, had made a golden image 90-feet tall and 9-feet wide (Daniel 3:1). Everyone from every nation and language were commanded by king Nebuchadnezzar to bow and worship the image when the music started playing, or else be cast into a fiery furnace to be burned alive.
There were 3 young men present, Christians, whose names were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. They resisted the king's tyranny and said, God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But I love what they said next, and it ought to be our attitude today... BUT IF NOT, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. What a great testimony! You just don't find much faith like that in the world, then nor today. Those 3 lads were willing to die for their cause, for what they believed and knew to be righteous, true, and pleasing to their God.
God miraculously delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. But this is not always the case. In Acts 7:60 Stephen was stoned to death by an angry mob of unbelievers, including Saul who would later get saved and be renamed to Paul (Acts 7:58). In Acts 12:2 Heard killed James by the sword. Yet we see that the Apostle Peter was miraculously delivered (Acts 12:7) from Herod's sword by the prayers of the church (Acts 12:5).
So you see, sometimes God delivers His saints, but at other times he doesn't. Historically, many Christians have been tortured and killed for their faith. The important thing is for us as believers to have the spirit of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, i.e., that we will do right even if it costs us our life. We will fight for our God as David did going up against Goliath, even if it means certain death. David said to his brothers who were critical of him for wanting to go fight Goliath... Is there not a cause?
Here is a powerful quote from the great preacher, Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)...
We Christian people tonight stand on the blood of martyrs who died for what we believe. People have been burned at the stake for this old Book. People have been dragged to death in the streets, with their brains dashed out on the rocks, for this old Book. People have put their heads in the guillotine, and had their heads severed from their bodies, for this old Book. People have been stripped naked and boiled in hot water until they died, for this old Book.
People have been thrown to the lions in Rome, thousands of them, for this old Book. People have shed their blood, had their tongues cut out, had their eyeballs plucked out with sharp pincers; people have been dragged to death, beaten to death, stoned to death; people have been gassed and suffered every form of martyrdom in the world; people have lost their lives, their families, their homes everything so you and I would have the Book. Now let's do something about standing for it, too.
Must I be carried to the skies
On flow'ry beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed thro' bloody seas?
Sure I must fight, if l would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord;
I'll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
And when the battle's over,
We shall wear a crown,
We shall wear a crown,
Yes, we shall wear a crown;
And when the battle's over,
We shall wear a crown
In the new Jerusalem!
What difference does it make if we are hated here. I am called everything a man could be called. I am lied about, gossiped about, and hated, and cussed, and folks won't speak to me on the streets. But I will tell you one thing, brother, when I walk down the golden streets of the New Jerusalem, Peter and Paul will speak to me.
I will tell you another thing: those of us who stand for decency and those of us who stand for the Bible, and those of us who stand for what is right and against what is wrong, one of these days they will put on a parade for us. Some of you little mealy-mouthed Christians who never did stand, and folks didn't criticize you, up in Heaven you will have to borrow money for a shoeshine. You didn't stand. Stand! Stand!
SOURCE: Dr. Jack Hyles; from the needful sermon, SEX ED IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: WHAT'S BEHIND IT?
There has never been a time throughout history such as today, when Christians have such a golden opportunity to stand for God and preach the gospel throughout the world. We are living in incredibly interesting and perilous times.
We have the complete Word of God, which Old Testament men of God would have happily given a limb or two to obtain. Literally, I believe they would have allowed their arms or legs to be removed to have the completed Word of God that we have today; yet people ignore God's Word and won't even open its pages to read. Do you realize how blessed and fortunate we are today to have the completed Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation? We have the completed picture, the big picture. We can have a complete knowledge of the Word of God; whereas in the Old Testament the saints only had a very limited knowledge of the truth. We have THE TRUTH! The Word of God is truth (John 17:17). Amen and amen! Thank you precious Lord!
So many believers today have the opposite attitude of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. They are depressed, naysayers, and have their minds filled with doubts. They never stand for anything! This happens when a believer fails to abide in the Scriptures as Jesus told us in John 5:39... SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!
God's power rests in the PROMISES of God. By searching the Scriptures we learn the PROMISES of God. The Christian life is not based upon experiences or feelings as with the heathen world and false religions; but rather, Biblical Christianity is based upon God's PROMISES. The Bible contains over 7,000 PROMISES from God. Eternal life is a PROMISE from God to those who believe on the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Titus 1:2; John 20:31; Acts 10:43).
It is very important for every believer to have the same attitude as Meshach, Shadrach, and Abed-nego. They placed their faith in God; but moreover, they placed their lives into God's hands knowing that it is not always God's will for things to go the way we hope they go. Joseph loved and trusted God, but there is no doubt that Joseph didn't want to be sold into slavery nor end up rotting in an Egyptian prison; but we are able to see the big picture in Genesis, how that God had a divine plan for Joseph's life. The same is true for you and me, and every Christian I assure you. This is what Romans 8:28 PROMISES, i.e., that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Meshach, Shadrach, and Abed-nego made their decision to stand against evil, doing what is pleasing to God; but they also knew that things could go good or bad for them here on earth as a result. The demonic Charismatic Movement has indoctrinated people to expect wealth, health, and prosperity from God in exchange for doing good. This is NOT Biblical. God never promised us health, wealth, nor prosperity in this fallen world of sin. Lazarus was a poor beggar. Jacob's beloved wife, Rachel, died giving birth to Benjamin. Then Jacob thought he lost Joseph to a wild animal (because his sons lied to him). David's child died, and 2 other sons were killed. Naomi's husband and 2 sons died. The Jews were in slavery in Egypt for 430 years. God gave Jacob a disability, permanently crippling the hollow of his thigh.
Who are we or anyone else to say that it is always God's will for good things to happen, and health to improve, and prosperity to come? The Bible is packed full of real people with real problems, who had real faith in a real God. Don't fall for the fake Pentecostal religion of fruitcakes, twisted tongues-speakers, and fraudulent healing services.
Good is a good God whether we are rich, or whether we are poor. God is still on His throne whether we have a job, or whether we are unemployed. God is still worthy of our praise whether we have good health, or whether we are crippled and suffer in chronic pain every day. God keeps His PROMISES to us, but it's not for us to decide how, when, nor where God works. God ways are not mysterious to God, but to men. Isaiah 55:8-9, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
God is the Potter, and we are the clay. Isaiah 64:8, But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Oh that men would trust in the Lord and lean not upon their own understanding (Proverb 3:5-7). God knows what He is doing. The unsaved world places God on trial, demanding irrefutable, documentable, incontestable proof that He exists and that the Bible is true; yet those same wicked people unquestioningly accept the bogus theories of Evolution, the scam of Global Warming, and the lies of Satan.
As believers our peace should rest in the PROMISES of God; and not in experiences or feelings that are uncertain, vulnerable, and constantly changing. If you truly live for Christ, then you will be persecuted in this sin-cursed world (2nd Timothy 3:12). The world will hate you for following Jesus Christ (John 15:19).
A few believers indeed have health,
wealth, and prosperity in this physical world; but most
OTHERS have sorrow, and are poor, and suffer in agonizing pain without
remedy. The Bible says that God has chosen the poor of this world rich in faith
(James 2:5). The poorest sinner can be abundantly rich in the
imputed righteousness of Christ Jesus.
1st Corinthians 4:10, We are fools for Christ's sake. Amen! 1st
Corinthians 1:18, For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish
foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. God
doesn't need our money. God doesn't need our knowledge. God doesn't need our
talents and abilities. There is nothing that we can offer God that He wants
except our obedience to His Word. God wants our heart. God wants from us what
money cannot buy.
May we all have the excellent spirit of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego who said, Our God will deliver us... BUT IF NOT. They were determined to please God, by obeying the Scriptures, even if it meant certain death. DO RIGHT... though the stars fall... DO RIGHT!
My God will deliver me; but if not, then let it be known that I am on the Lord's side
Joshua 24:15, And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.