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Hunk o’ Burning Trust

Click here to read Daniel 3 on BibleGateway.com

1b91f75691e650ee06780a2080966cecThe ole fiery furnace. What a classic. Three men, defiantly standing before the king, standing up to The Man, standing up for their rights in the face of tyranny and religious oppression. And they prove to be invincible. Fire cannot touch their awesomeness. What better story could any modern day Christian want?

Of course, we get the story all wrong, as we often do. Read it again. They weren’t defiantly standing up to authority – they were bowing to the greatest Authority. When these guys are brought before the king, they don’t tell him “you can’t do nothin’ to us; we have rights, we have God, we’re a city on a hill and chosen nation; don’t get us and God mad.” They simply point out that whether the king kills them or not, as is his right, they will serve God. Even if God never shows up. That’s quite a bit different, don’t you think?

OK, GOD, YOUR LINE IS…

The problem is that we want a God that will behave; we want to be able to say “in Jesus’ Name,” and have all our wants come to pass. We want to have the right words to say to “stick it” to those mean ole atheists that keep taking our rights. We want to say God WILL do this. We want to tell the mountain to move, heal the mean diseases that ravage our family, and of course be recognized for our faith and power (yes, we say it’s God’s power, but really, God chooses to work through ME, so therefore I must awesomer than you) by our fellow pilgrims.

But notice the true act of faith here – they don’t say “when God saves us, you’ll see He has the power (and by the way, that means we’re awesome, too).” They don’t say “God will send angels to protect us, you have no authority (which may have been true).” They don’t say “We are God’s people, so we’re more special than you heathen peeps.” Instead, all of the emphasis is on God and his sovereign authority. We will trust, even if He chooses to let us die; our trust remains the same.

LOSING EVERYTHING

Don’t forget, these men had seen many of their “chosen” friends and family killed or captured. They had already gone through the trauma of believing God’s city and temple were inviolate, and then watched as pagan armies burned God’s house to the ground. They had already lost their rights, lost their homes, lost their families, lost their freedom, even lost their names. Yet they still tell God “thy will be done.”

Can you do that? Can you say “even if the gobment takes my freedom, even if they take my rights, even if they take away my tax exempt status, even if they put me in a FEMA concentration camp; thy will be done.” What if you pray and fast and pray some more, and that law still passes? What if you forgive and forgive, and that person still hurts you and gets away with it. What if those people invade “your” country, like happened in this story? What if you really believe, and Grandma still dies? Or your child? Or your spouse? What if you lose everything that is “yours”?  What if God does none of the things that He says He will do, according to our view of the Bible? Can you still trust Him?

Can you still say “thy will be done”?

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