Daniel 3 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 3:17-18).
Nebuchadnezzar shook with rage and fury. Hadn’t the Hebrew God himself revealed that he, Nebuchadnezzar, was the great head of gold? How then could these three Hebrews, barely out of their teens, defy him? Perhaps it had been a misunderstanding. He would give them one more chance to worship his golden image.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not waver. They declined the king’s offer, stating “Our God…is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace…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: 17-18) These young men declared with their actions what Oswald Chambers put into words: “I care not what God will do; I care who God is.” Instead of focusing on whether God would deliver them, the three centered their lives and actions around who God is – the only one worthy of worship.
Our ability to stand in the midst of trials will depend on the focus of our gaze. If we’re looking only for immediate deliverance, we may not make it. Deliverance never comes for some in this lifetime. If, however, we’re looking at Jesus, then He will help us to see that whatever happens, the story doesn’t end here. It continues to eternity.
Read Philippians 3:8-11 to see what Paul says about his motivation for serving God
Do you believe that our ultimate purpose is to glorify God in and through our circumstances? What steps can you take to learn how to trust Him in the ‘if not?’