By: Dave Cleveland
Readings: Psalm 63:1-8; Daniel 3:19-30; Revelation 2:8-11
WHAT KIND OF FURNACE ARE YOU FACING?
In Daniel chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, is angry at three Jews because they did not worship his gods. The king told the Jews that if they did not serve his gods, and worship an image of gold, he would throw them into a blazing furnace. The king ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual, but the Jews said, “(Our) God will deliver us.” So, they were thrown in.
But, the Jews did not burn. The king looked in, and saw four men walking around: the three Jews and one who “looks like a son of the gods.” [Verse 25].
The three Jews walked out, the fourth remained. Is the “son of the gods,” or perhaps God himself, still in the furnace? What kind of furnace are you facing? Is God in that furnace, ready to be with you?
The author of Psalm 63 is in much less distress than the three Jews in the Book of Daniel: he “thirsts” for God. And then, fairly quickly, he is “fully satisfied as with the richest of foods,” and he sings “in the shadow of [God’s] wings.”
In Daniel, God saves the men from a fiery death. In the psalm, God feeds the man, and the man sings. Nice images of God. I am not facing any kind of furnace right now, but if that should happen, I hope I can remember the story in Daniel. I am jealous of the psalmist: he sees and beholds God, he is fully satisfied, he sings for joy, and he knows he is upheld by the “right hand” of God. As for me, I am tired and dull; I am partially satisfied; and I sing a little. I hope and pray that I will become more like the psalmist.
Gracious God, I am tired, weak, and jealous. Come to my aid!