Monday, May 28, 2018



"But if not . . ." Dan. 3:18

That is a very incomplete quotation, but it introduces us to faith in its finest expression. The chapter tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar's pride. In the dream which Daniel had interpreted to him he had been described as the head of gold in the colossus of world-power. He now set up an image of gold. We are not told that it was intended to represent a god; and the probability is that it was rather intended to represent his own power. All were commanded to prostrate themselves before it and worship. Daniel does not appear in this story, but his three comrades, with whom he had sought fellowship in prayer, are here. Here was a test for their loyalty to the God of their fathers, and to His law, which strictly FORBADE THE YIELDING OF WORSHIP TO ANY IMAGE WHATSOEVER (STATUES) 2nd Commandment. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. They are definitely not aids for worship although many think they do for they misrepresent. There was no hesitation on their part. They refused, and were brought before the king. To him, in language full of respect for him, but inspired by complete loyalty to God, they declared that there was no need to answer; their position was known. They declared further to the proud monarch that God was able to deliver them, and affirmed their confidence that He would do so. That was a splendid faith. But it went further as they said: "But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou have set up." That is faith at its highest. Deliverance is to be desired, and expected; but if it comes not, still there can be no abandonment of the One true God. Death, as the result of loyalty to Him, is preferable to deliver­ance, at the price of denying Him. This is the faith which overcomes the world. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)

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