Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Even if He Does Not

Even if He Does Not

Originally Posted by Chip in December 2009

I can hardly believe that I started this blog so long ago and then completely dumped it.  Life’s been crazy.  . . in both good and not so good ways.  But in all things I am learning to remember that God is enough. More than enough.  I don’t always remember it, but when I do, it makes all the difference.

Anyway . . . I babysat three kids about once a week. They’re great fun and I am getting to love doing it.  For a few hours I get to be a mom.  It’s certainly not always
easy, but last night was the best time I’ve had doing that ever.  For starters, it’s fun dancing with a three year old boy while holding a baby girl on your hip. . . I loved it. 

But I was totally shocked when I learned that the oldest girl (who is thirteen), had never heard of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  That is a story that cannot be missed.  I shocked myself last night as well — because I got so fired up and passionate while telling a simple Bible event.
Seriously, this story is one that grabs me — well, one in many.  So I shall retell it for you all. . .

Back in the days of Nebuchadnezzer, King of Babylon, the Jews were carried off into exile from their homes.  Among these were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.   These three, along with their friend Daniel, were so devoted to God that they refused to eat the rich foods of King Nebuchadnezzer and asked to only eat the foods allowed by the law of God.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were eventually appointed administrators over the province of Babylon. 
But that’s another story. . . 

King Nebuchadnezzer  ordered that a golden statue be built, ninety feet high and nine feet wide.  Then he summoned the officials to come to the dedication of this image.  It was procalimed that when the music sounded, everyone had to fall down and worship the golden statue or be thrown into a blazing furnace.  Well, you don’t normally mess with a king who has decreed you will die if you don’t do as he says. So, when the music began everyone fell down and worshiped the idol. . . well, almost everyone. 
There were three men who had the nerve to remain standing.  I’m sure you can guess who they were.   Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew the God they served and would not dishonor and disobey Him by worshipping an idol — even at the threat of death. 

When it was reported to the king that these men had refused to bow down, Nebuchadnezzer was furious with rage and ordered that they be brought before him.   When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood before Nebuchadnezzer, the king reprimanded them and offered them a second chance, saying also, “But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzer, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Can you imagine what it would be like to be facing a furious king and to say that to his face. . . knowing you’re just asking for death? What faith! What a love for God!

Well, Nebuchadnezzer grew even more angry, and ordered that the furnace be heated up to seven times it’s normal temperature.  Then he commanded the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.  The furnace was so hot, that the flames from the furnace killed the soldiers who were commanded to throw the three men in. 

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