"But if not . . ."

Geoffrey Cox

READ : Daniel 3:16-23

We will not serve your gods! (v. 18)

In one way it was simpler for the three young men in the fiery furnace than it is for us. They faced a straight choice: worship the king’s god or die. And God helped them to choose clearly and then to give a straight-forward reason for their choice, which took a lot of God-given courage in front of a very angry king. Their testimony had two points:

  1. “Our God is able to deliver us.” How can they be so confident? Because of “the God whom we serve.” Get into the practice of serving God wholeheartedly and the choice to stand up for him in the face of threats will be simpler, if still hard.
  2. “Whether he will deliver us or not, we will not serve your gods.” During one of the persecutions in the early days of the church, Polycarp, an old and respected Christian, was brought before the governor and ordered to deny Christ. “Eighty and six years I have served him, and he has never denied me, and shall I deny him now?” And so he was put to death.

God either delivers Christians in this life, or delivers them from it into the next. Our God is always able to deliver, but if not, we still trust and worship him alone.

PRAYER

Lord, prepare me to die for you, and even more to live for you.