Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the King, “ O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up”. Daniel 3:16-16
Welcome back to The Fire Place. We are set to wrap up our series on Trusting God today by concluding the second part of When God Fails to show up. we were able to lay a solid foundation about what constitutes a heart that will stand firm and trust God despite all odds in our last episode. In this edition, we shall be discussing about two different stories of Biblical Profiles about men and women that stood their ground in trusting God even at the instance that God failed to show up when they supposedly needed God the most. However, the waiting on God was not forever! Our God never fails. He came to their rescue by His own timing , as always, the appearance of God in their situation turned them all into worldwide celebrities in our own modern day language. Let’s explore the testaments of these giants of Faith and glean from their lives to live our own lives in the fullness of God’s best for our lives and generation.
The story of the three Hebrews, namely: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego fits into a lot of biblical pictures for our learning. Amongst the several lessons we can pick from their life story, the lesson of total and unconditional trust in God stands out rightly. In their days in Babylon, it is important to note that they were not the only Israelites in that country, while others were quick to join the ways and patterns of the Babylonians, here comes three young men that stood their ground to say NO! to the idolatry happening in their days! Just as Elijah stood for God against the practices of the idol of his day, baal and defended God’s interest as the Prophet authorized by God Himself, we saw the three Hebrews imitating this Kingdom virtue that keeps standing out the true ambassadors of God’s Kingdom all through the scriptures and our modern day church history.
Being in a land filled with idolatry, their trust and faith in God had to be tested. The reality of their standing for God made them come face to face with the evil of their days and the repercussions of not following the patterns of this world. It is worthy to be noted here that, which ever sides you pick will be tested, it is only a matter of time. If truly you are standing for God, the world system will test your allegiance to God and try everything possible to shake you, if at that point, you resist the test and fail to falter for their snares, then you won’t only come out victorious; a champion’s belt that is specially decorated and stamped by God Himself will follow you out of that test.
Our anchor passage written above recorded the declaration of the three Hebrews before their King, motioning to him that there is nothing that will make them bow to his idol, not even the fiery burning furnace! They were also quick to notify him ahead that this God they are standing for is a mysterious God who acts on the basis of His own pleasure and will, so if He fails to show up the way they are all expecting by saving them from the painful death sentence looming over them, they are willing to die for Him without waiting for any apology letter from Him! This kind of declaration is surely backed up by a deep conviction about God and an encounter with the Person of God. The signpost was clear, bow or die.
In all of these, they chose to trust God. we all know the end of the story; The King was furious with them, he demanded that the furnace be heated up in seven folds. King Nebuchadnezzar was quick to forget that, what is dead can never die again! Embracing the lifestyle of the Kingdom of God is to embrace a life of death. We die daily to the demands and activities of the flesh and this world as we keep saying yes to God. Their miracle working Father was waiting for them at the endpoint of their faith, at that point when human strength should fail; they were thrown into the furnace but instead of roasting to death, they were welcomed by the Mighty One in battle! The Fourth man in the fire! He will show forth for you in your days of challenge too!
Embracing the lifestyle of the Kingdom of God is to embrace a life of death. We die daily to the demands and activities of the flesh and this world as we keep saying yes to God.
The story of Ruth the Moabite is the kind that energize the weary heart and seems to minister strength in a special way to trust God indefinitely and go all out for Him in our journey to destiny fulfillment. The life of Ruth, the great grandmother of David display yet again that God is no respecter of man. Whoever is ready to go at any length with God is signing into a life of decoration, special honour to be conferred by God to the person. Ruth was a lady whose story should not strike a chord in our hearts had it been she left Naomi that faithful day of departure from Moab. In fact, Orpah the second widow left without any issue being made out of it apart from that, it was the last time we heard of her in the bible. Ruth on the other hand, who at that time can be believed to have been let down and disappointed by The God of Israel. Let us paint the background story a little bit. It is expected that at the point Chilion married Ruth, she would be introduced to the God of Israel and she would have been instructed to drop the idols being worshipped in Moab to focus fully on the great God of Israel. As any loving wife would do, she embraced this seemingly strange God of her husband family and was taught about how best to serve this God by her husband, just as the custom of the Israelites.
Whoever is ready to go at any length with God is signing into a life of decoration, special honour to be conferred by God to the person
Ruth at that point could be considered to be a new convert in our modern day church language that is expected to be nurtured and taught the ways of God. Yet, even before Ruth could get pregnant for her husband, death started to entertain the male in her husband’s family. It started with her Father in law, Elimelech; followed by the two just wedded family men, Mahlon and Chilion. What kind of God welcomes her new devotee into a devoted lifestyle by killing her husband, his brother and the Father too? That would have been a bad score in the scoresheet of any new convert. A lot of questions would have been finding expression in the heart of Ruth at that point; yet against what was expected of her; there seems to be a deep reality of this God that already dawned on Ruth ever before the death of her husband occurred. Her strong conviction about God came quite early enough to make her stand with that God even after the death of every male kind in her husband’s family. The ways of God are unsearchable. Only God would be able to fully explain to us the kind of truths and experiential knowledge that Ruth heard early enough to make her believe in the God of Israel that much. See, any faith you encounter in God that can make you stand with Him even in your darkest hour is a faith no man can take away from you ever again!
Any faith you encounter in God that can make you stand with Him even in your darkest hour is a faith no man can take away from you ever again!
Ruth’s actions portrayed that, the same God of Israel that could not save her husband is still worth standing for! I am sure Ruth would have prayed deeply to God to save her husband from death, but even with all that her husband still died! The same situation that still keeps taking people away from the love of God failed to catch Ruth, instead it further strengthens her faith and unconditional trust in that God! All the efforts of Naomi to send this strange lover of God back to her people and her gods did not work out! Here are her own words stating her declaration of total trust in God just like the three Hebrews. But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to return back from following after you; for wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, My God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me”. Ruth 1:16-17.
Naomi, her Mother in law was the only symbol and representative of God remaining in the life of Ruth. Ruth’s declaration here depicts her total trust in God leading to a decision to stay with God for life, come life or death. Her decision taught us a lesson that many sermons won’t have been able to communicate to us rightly. If you trust God, you will live on God’s terms for the rest of your life! knowing that God will never wish you evil or allow you to fall. The covenant of God stands sure upon all that believes in Him and trust Him with their life unconditionally!
If you trust God, you will live on God’s terms for the rest of your life!
Today, the story of Ruth inspires us all just because she made that decision to stay with the same God that did not save her husband. That same God did not fail her once again; instead she walked into being the gentile that would birth forth the great grand Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever is ready to take the risky path of unconditional trust in God can be sure of one thing, God never fails! This is enough comfort and assurance for us all as we go through the journey of life. God will never be too late, He might not show up exactly where we thought He would appear, but we can be sure that at His own time, He will show up for us and compensate us greatly for trusting Him when He failed to show up!