As children, God is a lot like Superman to us. He can beat any evil that comes our way, he is strong enough to lift buildings, he can go into the fire and save people, he can stop bullets, and he can fly to our rescue. I'm sure there is no adult in here that in their mind would argue with the definition of God's omnipotent power.
Listen to the words of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego again when they are faced with the choice of following God or facing death.
"If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty."
Superman God, who can save them from anything, will save them from the fires, wills ave them from Nebuchadnezzar. God will swoop in and save the day for sure. But they don't stop there, do they?
Then they say,
"But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up."
This is where we see them having an adult faith, not a child faith. God is more than a superhero to these three men. They know that they may not always understand God's plans, but that their responsibility is to always do what is right. They know God has the power to save them, but their responsibility is to trust God and honor him by standing up to Nebuchadnezzar.
Now, they had good reasons to trust God. Earlier in the book of Daniel, in chapter 1, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego enter into Nebuchadnezzar's court. They request to keep to their Jewish diet and not eat the unclean foods. The proposed a testing period of 10 days. If they were unfit for their work after eating only vegetables and water for 10 days, they would eat the food the king prepared.
God gave them the gift of knowledge and wisdom, which allowed them a place of honor in Nebuchadnezzar's court.
God had already proven to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that if they followed his laws and honored him, then God will look after them. That made it so much easier during the second test to trust God, not that it was easy because God had already shown them his strength.
There's a big word that's used to describe God "omnipotence." Simply put, this means,
"He is all-powerful; He can do anything He desires to do--everything consistent with His rational, moral nature."(1)
God can do anything because he is all-powerful. The scriptures refer to God as the Almighty 345 times.
Read Daniel 3:1-6, 13-18, 25-26
- What stands out to you in this reading?
- How did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego prove God's power?
- Would God have acted if they had not made such a bold statement about him?
Re-Read Mark 10:15-16.
- How has this passage grown for you over the past weeks?
- Has it changed the way you look at God?
- How did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego show childlike faith?
Bringing it to a close.
Many times people believe that God can, but don't think that he will act for them. This is many times limiting the power of God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego believed that God had the power and that he would show his power.
- Have you ever felt that God wouldn't use his power to help you? Why?
- When has God shown his might and done wonderful things?
- What is one thing you will do this week as a result of something you've learned from this message and this series?
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