12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon–Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego–who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace.
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
Daniel 3: 12-15, 17-18
If you want to understand wholehearted devotion to God, look no further than Daniel, chapter 3. If you want to know what you’re saying “yes” to when you say you choose HIM, look no further.
I imagine myself staring at that furnace, with such blazing heat that it killed soldiers who came too close to it. It would take courage that God would need to give me in order to stand MY ground.
I know that this is a message about devotion to God in the face of the most overwhelmingly fearful obstacles. But I want to focus on a certain phrase in verse 18. “But even if He does not”. The verse before states that they know and believe with all their hearts that God was able to and COULD rescue them. But they said even if He didn’t rescue them from this horrific moment, they were STILL going to trust Him, obey Him, and worship Him!
Have you ever been there? At a moment in your life when all you know and love could possibly be taken away? Are you willing to say, “but even if He does not…” ? I know people who have suffered great loss and now seem to worship Him with a fervor that comes from understanding that even if He doesn’t rescue you from pain, it changes nothing about His character, and they just “know” He is still good.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn, Macy, I had so much joy, because doctors told me it wouldn’t be likely for me to have a baby. And everytime she kicked inside of me, I just thanked God for what He gave me out of his great mercy and grace! Then, on Christmas day, two years later, I was 12 weeks pregnant, and lost my baby. Yes, I was sad, but I grew to understand that He was and always will be faithful, good, just, and holy.
I’ve had to go back to “even if You don’t”, or “even if You won’t” many times since. And it always boils down to a FACT. Even if He doesn’t take this circumstance, this pain, this trouble, from your life, He is STILL worthy of all praise and of ALL our devotion. Even if!