God is faithful -- are we?

I had written today's entire devotional thought when the computer lost it.  Don't we love those days -- when things just seem to go wrong?  They do happen from time to time, but I was actually quite inspired today by the story in Daniel 3 of Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego.  So often our focus is on the fact that these three men are saved from the fiery furnace and that is very true and it's exciting to see how God steps into history and does something like this.  At the same time there is something else very important happening in this event.  The Israelites were in exile because they had been unfaithful to God and had been willing to bow down and worship foreign gods.  This seems to be a very pivotal moment in the life of the Israelites as a whole, not just these three.  This signals a turning point in their relationship to God.  It's as if these three represent the people of God who are saying "enough is enough, we will no longer worship any foreign god."  They are willing to put their lives on the line to be faithful to God and in return, God does just what he had always promised his people -- he saves them.  Therefore this story represents the returned commitment of the Israelites to serve God and him alone -- and God's renewed covenant with his people that if they are faithful to him, he will take care and protect them.

Therefore we see that God is faithful, fulfilling his promises even when his people are in exile.  But the question we must ask ourselves today is whether we are living our lives in faithfulness to him?  Too often I think it's easy to get caught up in describing faithfulness as us "doing" things for God, but does God really need us to do anything for him?  Does he need us to design his strategy for him?  This is God we're talking about -- the one who created our minds!  Does God need us to raise funds for him?  You know, God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills!  God is simply asking us to be faithful to him in our personal relationship to him and he will take care of the rest.  We are supposed to trust in him.  The three young men put their entire faith and trust in God and God took care of the rest.  Not only did he save them, but he revealed himself to them in that furnace.  God's promise wasn't just for three young men, but for all of his people who would remain true to him.  The Israelites had struggled with fidelity over and over again.  They had been enticed to serve the foreign gods, and not only to worship them but to put up altars to them right in their own backyards.  I wonder what kinds of idols we have put up in our own homes?! 

The promise that God gave to the Israelites is a promise for us today as well.  God is faithful -- but are we? 


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