I loved my Tuesday date days with my grandson; it was the one autumn afternoon a week that I set aside solely for him. After his morning preschool class was dismissed, we were on the road and the first stop for this growing lad was lunch. I wonder what the new McDonald’s toy will be this week, Grandma, and don’t forget the dip for our fries! Then it was off to the dollar store to buy some snacks and browse the toys, finally concluding our day with a trip to the neighborhood park. After the swinging, climbing, running, and sliding had ceased, we would generally settle in for an exciting game of hide and seek. Count to 10, Grandma, then say, ‘ready or not, here I come!‘ That is a prime example of an unconditional phrase. If you are in your best hiding place, I’m coming; if you are still standing a few feet in front of me, I’m coming anyway. The outcome is the same regardless of the actions of the other participant. That unconditional response is pivotal in this fascinating Bible story.
Nebuchadnezzar, the egotistical king of Babylon had “made an image of gold,” not a tiny statue fit for the dashboard of a car, this was one HUGE monument, a whopping 90 feet high and 9 feet wide. To draw more attention to the image “he had it set up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.” Picture that breathtaking scene in your mind’s eye, glistening gold, huge, set up on a flat parcel of land making it visible for miles, complete with an accompanying orchestra of “cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer.” Not terribly subtle. The rules of the game were uncomplicated, when the music starts, you fall down and worship the statue of the golden image. But three young Hebrew men could not “worship the golden image” and did not bow, demonstrating both exemplary bravery and faithful devotion to the true God. That refusal to bow carried with it a sentence of a fiery death in the midst of a flaming furnace.
The young Hebrew’s response to this dire situation was unconditional: “If it be so, our God…is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace…but if not, be it known…that we will not serve thy gods.” Regardless of how God chooses to respond, whether it is His will to deliver us or take us home to glory via a fiery furnace, we will not bend. Our faithfulness and devotion to the God of glory is not dependent on receiving the response we desire, ready or not, rescued of not, we are all in!
What a stunning example left behind for us! God did miraculously intervene and spare the lives of those brave boys, but even if God chose to allow their lives to end that fateful day, the boys would unconditionally stand for Him. May we share that unwavering faith in God’s love, kindness, and mercy, finding the confidence to abandon our will and rest in His, regardless of the outcome, knowing that whatever He decides for our path is best for us.
Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:
God, often I don’t understand Your workings in my life. Help me to abandon my will and trust You regardless of the outcome, unconditionally, knowing that Your will is always best for me.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1955-656bd4d19753d' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1955&origin=grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1955-656bd4d19753d' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1955-656bd4d19753d' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>