But Even If
Daniel 3: 17-25
Where is God in the midst of the pandemic, hardships and suffering?
Is God good based on our circumstances? We cannot conclude God is or isn’t good based on circumstances. He is bigger than that, Sovereign.
“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.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.””
Daniel 3:17-25 NKJV
Are these three guys (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego) confused about whether God can save them? (verse 17-18)
They not only understood the power of God but also His Sovereignty. It’s not to put God in a good light should He fail to come through. It’s not to play safe or save our face.
We are made to live in this truth, His power and Sovereignty.
We are comfortable with the mighty power of God but uncomfortable with His mysterious ways that are not within our comprehension.
“But even if” helps to resolve the conflict between the power and Sovereignty of God.
Sovereignty: He is still in charge and in control.
We sometimes don’t see the sense of what He is doing. Moses was asked to grab the tail of a snake to pick it up. Jonah was in the belly of the whale. The plants were created first before the sun.
God was still working even in those things; the wisdom and ability of God. What happens when His power works in a mysterious way outside of what we want?
This reconciliation between His power and Sovereignty can be very confusing for believers. Are we in the place of “even if”?
Only the ways of God are different. But He is still working. (Psalm 103:7)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego knew His power but also His Sovereignty.
Maturity means submitting to His ways even when we don’t understand them. We can still experience God not just in His power but also journeying in His ways.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego reconciled the power and Sovereignty of God in the fiery furnace. Can we be contented in His Sovereignty? May we also reconcile the power and Sovereignty in our lives.
“Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.””
Daniel 3:21, 25 NKJV
The men fully bound in the fiery furnace were loosed. The rope was burnt. We are worried about what will burn us but God is interested in what will build us.
This is the Sovereignty of God. We see what burns or binds us but God is building faith in us. God is Sovereign over the fire too. Maybe God is working on Your fear, doubt and what held you down and loosening those things.
The Sovereignty of God is reconciled with His power. We are sometimes too accustomed with His power and not His Sovereignty. We may be taught that He is present even in His Sovereignty when He sometimes doesn’t move in His power.
‘But even if’ is an opportunity to see God in all His greatness. (Daniel 3:5)
God sometimes delivers us from the fire. Another way is that God joins us in the fire and walks through with us.
God is more glorified in the fire than outside of it. God is with us in the fire.