Devotional Thought of the Day:
8 It was then that some Babylonians took the opportunity to denounce the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May Your Majesty live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued an order that as soon as the music starts, everyone is to bow down and worship the gold statue, 11 and that anyone who does not bow down and worship it is to be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 There are some Jews whom you put in charge of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who are disobeying Your Majesty’s orders. They do not worship your god or bow down to the statue you set up.” 13 At that, the king flew into a rage and ordered the three men to be brought before him. 14 He said to them, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you refuse to worship my god and to bow down to the gold statue I have set up? 15 Now then, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, oboes, lyres, zithers, harps, and all the other instruments, bow down and worship the statue. If you do not, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace. Do you think there is any god who can save you?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered, “Your Majesty, we will not try to defend ourselves. 17 If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. 18 But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up.” Daniel 3:8-18 (TEV)
872 To help you keep your peace during those times of hard and unjust contradictions I used to say to you: “If they break our skulls, we shall not take it too seriously. We shall just have to put up with having them broken.” (1)
In my devotional this morning, the Old Testament reading was exactly what you see above.
My first reaction was, why stop it here?
Why not give us the rest of the story. (spoiler alert?) Why not just let us read on, to the glory, to the miracle of the 4th man? To the repentance of the community in its sins, not just to God, but to me!
I want the rest of the story! And I want it….. now!
I looked ahead – I don’t get the rest of the story tomorrow! What is up with that?
What is up with that is the words of faith that the three men said. They were sure of their trust in God enough to embrace the fact that the story might not end with a miracle, and somehow, they are okay with that. Somehow, knowing that God is at work is enough, being sure He will keep His promises is enough.
Many martyrs die without receiving what we would want, their release back into the world. Their freedom from those who would oppress, torture, and eventually kill them.
And they were able to endure, knowing something that their captors did not.
That God, by his very cHesed nature,the depth and height, the breadth and width of His love, is worthy of the trust that the three men showed. Even if He didn’t rescue them, even if they didn’t get the miracle they expected. They knew His love.
May we, as we think through the work of God accomplished in our Baptism, as we meditate on the Body and Blood of Christ, as we hear with absolute delight that our sins are forgiven, that all is made right, know God enough to trust Him, even if we don’t get the miracle we want……
For we have the one we need. The Cross. (see Romans 6:3-8)
He is our God.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3565-3567). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.