“But even if he does not”

There is a wonderful story of integrity found in the Bible in Daniel Chapter 3. It’s a classic Sunday School lesson and one that amazes people the first time they hear it and the 300th time they hear it because it shows our powerful God in action. 

The story goes; three Jews, named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were taken from their homeland and put to work in the Babylonian kingdom. They proved their character already but again they were unwilling to worship any gods but their God. What faced them with this admission and refusal was a date with death in the fiery furnace. What they got instead was a walk into sure death and miraculous salvation by their God, much to the amazement of all who witnessed, including the King. 

This part of the story is typically what gets people talking. Not a mark on them, not a burn, not the smell of smoke. It’s pretty impressive and a great example of our God in action. It’s what amazed me the many times I have read it. This month though, what has amazed me more than anything is just before they get sentenced to death they are called to the king to explain themselves. They say “we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

These words “but even if he does not” have made me look at this story a little differently. What amazing faith in action that in the face of death they know God can save them but even if he doesn’t they’ll love and serve Him anyway. 

Life is all about choices. What we will and won’t do to get the outcome we desire. Our students learn to stand on their own in a range of situations and build resilience and determination to succeed. Developing this attitude shown in these men of God from the book of Daniel is something that can assist in really grasping this. Knowing that no matter what, God has our back, but even if He doesn’t respond the way we want Him to or expect Him to doesn’t change our faith and hope we have in Him. 

In a range of situations; the workplace, a relationship issue, an assessment task, sickness, sport, stage fright and many more we should all display this level of integrity where we don’t rely on the situation in front of us but on who is with us in that situation. A trust in God that goes beyond His actions or perceived inaction and settles on love and loyalty. That is character building. 

Have a great weekend everyone and I hope to see you at “Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” this upcoming week. 


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