Living bravely in crisis reveals God to unbelievers
Scripture: Daniel 3:10-25; 29-30
1. Hubris (unlimited pride) has been a human problem since the Fall. Nebuchadiezzar’s gold statue is a classic example.
Even though Daniel’s friends have been given high positions, when a golden statue is created and all told to worship it, the three confessors refuse so are thrown into the fiery furnace. Anre Noren Catholic scholar says, take the Holy scriptures and read for contemplation and meditation when your heart is open the Spirit will reveal God in the story. We get caught up to much in little issues, parable or literal truth and miss the power of God’s message for living. The eternal is involved in the text so let the Spirit master you instead of the mastering the text. Consequence of hubris is aggressive hautiness, arrogance with expectation of privilege and power. Began in the garden and still a danger today. Who will be God? Will we choose self or God.
2. In the arena of faith one must consider the cost. How much can I prepare to give to God?
Advance decision needs to be made before crisis arises or challenge faced. Three friends of Daniel made a decision early on that under any circumstances they would serve God. First test of diet was fairly easy. Second is a death sentence. Who is the God you will serve? “If our God delivers us fine, if not, we still will not worship your golden statues.” They had to decided to die for faith. Must also decide cost of lesser things. How often will you publically worship? How much time will you give to mercy or justice? How much money? Will I witness to Christ when the opportunity arises. Response to ordinary the same as deep. Can’t be said, but must be a lived defense.
3. Lives lived bravely in crisis by the faithful can reveal God even to unbelievers.
One of the beautiful symbols is the fourth figure in the fire. The inivisible God always becomes visible to His followers in crisis. Crisis with God is very different from crisis without God. Our companion is the God who is our hope. Nebeccanezzer also saw God in the young men’s triumph. Fourth appeared like the Son of God. Afterwards the King blessed the God who delivered them. For a period of time, the king and people saw the greatness of God because of the followers. The idol disappears from the story. Life is a whole journey back to the one who loves us...God. Daniel not present in story. Strong testiment that God uses followers as well as leaders for His work. We in God’s view are equal to heroes of faith. Different gifts with different effect, but all with great potential to be used. We should examine again our commitment to God and ask should it be more?