READ : Daniel 3:24-30
Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego . . . (v. 28)
God takes a long time to draw Nebuchadnezzar into a saving relationship with himself. Again and again God teaches the king something, and again and again the king responds in apparent faith and worship, and again and again he goes back to his old ways.
At least three or four times in his life John Newton, an eighteenth-century sailor and slave trader, was made to think seriously of his need for God. The Lord got Newton’s attention, either by shipwreck or by storm or by some other fear. Yet as he later wrote, “the impression faded.” Eventually Newton did turn to Christ and became a great preacher and the author of the hymn Amazing Grace.
God comes into the furnace with his three servants, as he comes into every trial we ever face, and miraculously delivers them. Nebuchadnezzar is overwhelmed and is quick to acknowledge God. But he over-reacts as he so often does. He offers his personal testimony to the one true God: “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego!” But then he tries to impose the worship of God on everyone by force (v. 29). And—as Daniel’s story will show—Nebuchadnezzar has not yet truly repented himself.
But God isn’t finished with him yet!
Lord, help me to learn quickly, and to repent sincerely.