Saturday, March 20, 2010

Flashing Signs

Sometimes, as humans, we can be so naive of God's heart. And yet, at the very same moment in history, so sure of our own. We suppose easily that our own hearts care deeply and are moved to compassionate actions. It may very well be so. However, we may also fret over whether or not God cares deeply and is moved to compassionate actions. God's heart is bigger than our hearts. We can be certain of this at any hour. If our hearts are deep, His is deeper. If our hearts are moved, His is moved all the more. In our human world, it's altogether too easy to doubt God's heart. There are so many vocal and circumstantial suggestions that God is not Who He claims to be. Wherever you are sitting, standing or walking in life, a suggestion is nearby. Something or someone who believes God to be a liar. There is always a flashing sign advertising the 101 reasons to doubt His love for you.

I think of 3 Hebrew children written about in the Old Testament Scriptures. You may know them as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their Hebrew names were Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. I am one of their biggest fans. For they made a statement like none other. As they stood in front of a flashing sign known as The Fiery Furnace, and as they stood before the chief advertiser known as King Nebuchadnezzar, they didn't take the promotional bait. Everything about them suggested that this furnace and this king and his godlike stature might have the last word on who should bow to what. God's heart might not come through. Was the God of the Hebrews able to save? Was He watching the whole escapade? Was He paying attention? Was He deeply involved? Was He moved?

Listen closely to the statement of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah as they faced the possibility of death because they chose to bow to no one but their Divine Creator. "Nebuchadnezzar said. .... 'If you do not worship, you shall immediately be 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, 'O Nebuchadnezzar we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up'."

Applause rings out of the four corners of the heavens. These are integral young men. I want you to notice something with me for a moment. They have said to us that God was able to save them AND that He was willing to save them: "he WILL deliver us out of your hand". But, they also stated that if God DID NOT deliver them, they still wouldn't bow. Wow! Are you getting this?! In essence they were stating that God was deeply moved and totally involved in their situation. His heart was for them! God would definitely save them of His own personal desire and choice. However, being that there were cosmic enemies involved, it might not turn out that way. Nevertheless, they refused to shift their confidence in and allegiance to God.

That's how we should be. A people who are certain of His heart towards us no matter the advertisement of other voices or circumstances. The Divine Creator is for us and we wholeheartedly pledge our affection and faithfulness to the One who loves us. "No matter what is said, no matter what is done in this sphere. ...no matter the statement and circumstances that pressure me to doubt, I believe You are as You say You are and You have my heart, Creator God!"

You will find the whole story of Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah in Daniel 3:8-30. It's worth your time to read it.


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