Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Only God

Daniel 3: 26 - 30

26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
   So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Can't you just see the headlines in the Babylon business section of the news? Was everyone talking about the appointments of the three young men from Jerusalem?  I think we all would talk about the craziness that had just happened.  How King Nebuchadnezzar had an idol built and expected everyone to bow down to it.  How he got mad when Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego would not bow and kept their loyalty to God.  How the king threw his fit and got thrown in the fire.  But especially how there was rumored to be a fourth man walking in the fire with the three others, but only three came out unharmed.  Not one hair singed, nor did they even smell like smoke.  Now to me that is the miracle.
Yesterday, Mike smoked a turkey for someone.  I was so hungry every time the door opened because the fragrance of the smoked flavor was wafting about.  But even more so, just because I walked out to check on him and the turkey a few times, or to get something from the garage, my clothes smelled of smoke too.  How can you be near or in a fire and not smell like smoke?  Only God can do make that happen.
God changed those men's lives forever.  Even the king gave an order that no one could say anything against God without punishment.  Change is a great thing, and usually comes at a large price.  That price is not just an outward change, meaning that other people notice right off.  The price has to be an inward change that may be only significant to the one making the change, unnoticeable to others, at first.  But if God's change truly takes place, only later will others see what a transformation has been made.  And only God can and you can make the change happen.

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