September 2, 2018
Daniel 3:15-16… Now, if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But f you do not worship, you will be immediately cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “OH, Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve will be able to deliver us from this fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, oh king. But if not, be it known to you, oh king, that we will not serve your gods, or worship the golden image that you have set up.
I was just reminded of a phrase that I rarely think of: “foxhole confession.” In war, a person can be trapped in a foxhole by enemy gunfire. The foxhole is a type of a grave. The confession goes something like this, “Lord, if you get me out of this mess, I will serve you the rest of my life.” The 3 guys in the above story could have wanted something like that, but they didn’t voice it. instead, they said that even if God didn’t help them, they would not worship the image. Their minds were made up. Regardless of the outcome, they were not bowing down to an idol of gold. They responded from conviction, not self preservation. I think that is an issue today.
We make decisions because of a promised favorable outcome. “Lord, I will follow you as long as I end up in heaven.” Or “Lord, I will follow you; just don’t lead me through the valley of the shadow of death.” Instead, we ought to say, “Lord, I will follow you wherever you lead me. I trust you to take care of me.” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not follow God because they knew He would spare them all pain; they followed him no matter how He led.
I have heard that faith is not blind… we don’t have blind faith. However, this morning’s story is about that very thing. Faith is believing and obeying God even when we can’t know the outcome. Do you have faith? Do you trust God… no matter what? Do you obey Him, not knowing what He is going to do? Or are you a fair weather Christian?