God's Unbroken Promises
I Will Be With You
(Advance Slide 1)
(Advance Slide 2)
An encouraging passage that we find in the NT is when Jesus was reassuring His disciples with these words.
- I will be with you always - Matthew 28:20
- I will abide in you...never leave you - John 15:4
Isn't it assuring to know that no mater how hard life is we cannot be torn away form the anchor of God?
(Advance Slide 3)
- But what does this mean?
- Will God give us some sort of "secret passage" way?
- Will God remove all troubles from our lives?
This is what we want!
- We desire and want instantaneous deliverance.
- The biblical narrative paints a totally different picture
- God's promise that He will always be with us is not a deliverance FROM trouble but deliverance THROUGH troubles.
(Advance Slide 5)
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel-18
(Advance Slide 6)
King Neb. - he was a rather unpredictable king.
- He seemed to be intelligent, but was notorious for knee jerk reactions void of wisdom.
- When Babylon would conquer a nation, he would preserve those with wisdom, or those that could be potential assets to him.
In Daniel 2 king Neb has a dream.
(Advance Slide 7)
- He saw a massive statue: head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron but feet of clay.
- He demanded that his wise men tell him the vision and the meaning.
- Of course they are not able to…so king Neb orders their death!
- This is where our 4 friends come in and they fall under the king's order too.
Daniel sends a message to Neb.
- "Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days…" -28
- Daniel was able to give the vision and the meaning.
- "The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” vs. 47
He praises God, but quickly forgets.
- When we get what we want we are happy people!
When Daniel explains the meaning o the dream Neb. isn't concerned about the unshakable kingdom.
- He is more focused on the feet of clay…his own kingdom.
- How can I unify the people…one religion will do the trick!
So the king builds….an immense, expensive, and intimidating statute
(Advance Slide 10)
- At the sound of the music stop what your doing, bow down and worship it.
- All who does not will be thrown into the fiery furnace.
- In his mind it sounded like a perfectly good plan….until 3 Hebrew men stand by their beliefs.
Scripture says, "Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews."
- The literal language says that they "devoured" them…meaning they became hostile towards them.
- How were they able to withstand all the hostility?
- God's promise!
- "Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
(Advance Slide 12)
God is Able
I love the VBS song "My God is So Big"
- The song by itself is impressive, but with the muscle flexing it becomes POWERFUL!
- God indeed is powerful!
The biblical narrative constantly reminds us that God is with us.
- Yet it never guarantees an escape hatch from trouble
- He is able, He is strong, He is mighty!
- He is also sovereign…is always bringing his plan to fruition.
- Shad, Mesh, Abed understood all this about God.
- Even thought they knew that death was imminent if they didn't comply.
- They held one another accountable!
I believe they prayed…
- That the kings edict wouldn't happen…but it did!
- That they prayed for king Neb. to repent…but he didn't
- Maybe they prayed that no one would notice their absence…but someone noticed
- Maybe they prayed that those who might notice would keep quite…but they didn't
- All their prayers were answered, but the answer was always no!
(Advance Slide 13)
Even if He Does Not
He is still able!
- Shad, Mesh, Abed were in a bad spot..worst-case scenario, but Neb. offered one last chance!
- "...our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
- They knew where and what their faith and their hope was in
- This choice had been made long before the threats were made!
- So when they WERE thrown into the fire…they knew God was with them.
If we wait till we are at worst-case scenario to decide how we will react we will likely choose the easy way out!
The fact that we have seen in the lives of Shad, Mesh, Abed...God was with them and He WILL be with us too.
- God is with us BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER our troubles
- Hebrews 13:5 "...for he has said I will never leave or forsake you."
- Shad, Mesh, and Abed had already set their hearts on this.
- They had won the battle long before the battle had begun.
- Job "Thought He slay me, I will hope in Him."