Saturday, August 4, 2012

God's Undeniablilty

While teaching Bible stories for three weeks over the summer, God’s “undeniability” overwhelmed me. When God shows up, there is no denying it. 

Here’s one case. 
It’s paraphrased from Scripture, almost how I would have taught it, but without my own thoughts and applications inserted (I'm too jetlagged and lack motivation to type and organize the plethora of comments I have on the story...)

I’ll try to post other stories we used that showcase God’s undeniable power soon, but in the meantime, I highly recommend digging in to the book of Daniel yourself and really contemplating the awesome ways that God shows up. 

It blew me away.

From Daniel 3

King Nebuchadnezzar made a giant statue and set it up in Babylon. He called all his rulers and important officials to come to its dedication. His herald told them, “As soon as you hear the sound of all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship this image. If you do not, you will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace!”
When the music played, all the people fell down and worshiped. But, some men came to the king and said, “Oh king, live forever! You said that everyone who hears the music must fall down and worship the golden statue, or else be thrown into the fiery furnace. But there are some Jews, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who have ignored you! They don’t serve your gods OR worship the statue you made. ”
Nebuchadnezzar was furious! He called for the men, and they were brought before him. the king said to them, “Is it true that you that you don’t serve my gods or worship the statue that I set up?” Then he gave them one more chance, “When you hear the music,” the king explained, “if you fall down and worship the golden statue, then good. But if you don’t worship it, you WILL be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?!
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have nothing to say, because even if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God that we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O King. But even if He does not rescue us, know this: We will NOT serve your gods or worship the golden statue you have set up.
Nebuchadnezzar was FURIOUS ad he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. His strongest soldiers tied up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and threw them into the blazing furnace. The fire was so hot, that the flames killed the soldiers who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in. 
Now, the king, who was watching, leaped up and asked in astonishment, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them in the fire?” His men replied, “of course, O king.” Then the king said, “Look! I see not three but four men walking around in the fire, they're not hurt and the fourth looks like a son of the gods!” So Nebuchadnezzar called out to them, “Shadrach! Meshach! Abednego! Servants of the Most High God, COME OUT and come here!” And out they came! The officials crowded around them and saw that the fire had not harmed them, not even a hair from their heads had burnt off. Only the ropes with which they were bound. They didn’t even smell like smoke!

Then, Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who sent his angel and rescued his servants, who trusted in Him, defied the king’s command and were willing to lose their lives rather than worship another god than their own God. Therefore, I make a a decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, be torn limb from limb and their houses destroyed. For there is no other God who is able to rescue in this way.”