If you went to Sunday school as a kid or even if you’re a more recent student of the Bible, chances are you’ve heard the stories of Daniel in the lion’s den and of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the fiery furnace. These familiar stories tell of how these men faced execution because of their devotion to worshiping God and God alone. Those dramatic events are not the only times these men faced execution at the hand of a godless king. Nebuchadnezzar ordered the death of all the wise men in the land because no one could tell him his dream and interpret it.
When Daniel learned of the looming executions, he sought God and learned what he needed to know. So, he praised God with the words recorded in Daniel 2:20-22, and then went in to see the king.
I’m amazed at Daniel’s confidence. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were thrown into the fiery furnace, they didn’t know whether God would save them and they said so. But when Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel whether he was able to make known both the dream and its interpretation, Daniel responded with these words: “The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these…” (Daniel 2:27-28 NKJV). And then, without a shadow of doubt, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar what he’d dreamed and what it meant.
I wish I could tell you that I am as confident as Daniel, but I wrestle with doubt. Did God really reveal that to me or did I make it up in my head? I know that God is able to speak into my situation, but I’m not always sure I hear him correctly. How can I be sure God is saying this and not my heart, or my head, or the voices in my head?
I’ve learned to trust and obey what I think God is saying to me even in moments of doubt. When I move in the direction that I sense God is leading me, peace washes over me if I’m on the right track and a check in my spirit holds me back if I’m on the wrong one. Even Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego didn’t know whether God would save them from the fiery furnace. But they did know that he was worthy of their undivided worship. They went through the fire, but came out of it without even the hint of the smell of smoke. Let’s trust God to reveal the deep and secret things we need to know and to keep the secrets we don’t need to know.
And let’s obey God even when we don’t fully understand him.
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This week’s scripture: Daniel 2:20-22