God is Able #8. “He is able to deliver from death.”

God is Able #8. “He is able to deliver from death.”

It’s one thing to theorize about martyrdom, and quite another to literally face it. If the average Christian were honest, he would admit that his prayer, “Lord, put me where you want me to be,” excludes places where its either too hot or too cold; let alone the prospect of facing physical harm.

The irony in this is the fact that we honestly believe that we have control over our futures. Who says that we can’t be forced to join the millions of displaced people around the world? Being displaced puts you among those with strange languages and habits—strange to you anyway. Let’ face it, the assumption that we will see out our days surrounded by the familiar may say more about the state of our Christian vision than we might care to admit.

I do not exclude myself from this microscope. We must all pray, “Lord, whatever it takes to prepare me for greater service, make it happen.”

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego did not consult their travel agent when they went to Babylon. They were expendable Hebrew slaves forced to serve a foreign king in a foreign land. They had no rights beyond the whims of their master. And even though promoted to the highest positions in Babylon, they were not exempt from being made examples of for defying the king’s edict.

All they had to do to save their lives was to go through the motions of bowing down to Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. But their faith in YHWH prevented them from doing so. So when Nebuchadnezzar threatened death by fire, they told him that they would rather put themselves in God’s hands. They said:

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18).

“Lord, give me the faith of these three brothers.”

John Staiger


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