Daneil 3 & Psalm 107

Daniel 3

    King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

    Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

    Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

    Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king's order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

    Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

    Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

(Daniel 3 ESV)


Psalm 107

    Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
        for his steadfast love endures forever!
    Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
        whom he has redeemed from trouble
    and gathered in from the lands,
        from the east and from the west,
        from the north and from the south.
    
    
    Some wandered in desert wastes,
        finding no way to a city to dwell in;
    hungry and thirsty,
        their soul fainted within them.
    Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
        and he delivered them from their distress.
    He led them by a straight way
        till they reached a city to dwell in.
    Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
        for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    For he satisfies the longing soul,
        and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
    
    
    Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
        prisoners in affliction and in irons,
    for they had rebelled against the words of God,
        and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
    So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor;
        they fell down, with none to help.
    Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
        and he delivered them from their distress.
    He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
        and burst their bonds apart.
    Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
        for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    For he shatters the doors of bronze
        and cuts in two the bars of iron.
    
    
    Some were fools through their sinful ways,
        and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
    they loathed any kind of food,
        and they drew near to the gates of death.
    Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
        and he delivered them from their distress.
    He sent out his word and healed them,
        and delivered them from their destruction.
    Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
        for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
        and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!
    
    
    Some went down to the sea in ships,
        doing business on the great waters;
    they saw the deeds of the LORD,
        his wondrous works in the deep.
    For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
        which lifted up the waves of the sea.
    They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
        their courage melted away in their evil plight;
    they reeled and staggered like drunken men
        and were at their wits' end.
    Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
        and he delivered them from their distress.
    He made the storm be still,
        and the waves of the sea were hushed.
    Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
        and he brought them to their desired haven.
    Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love,
        for his wondrous works to the children of man!
    Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
        and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
    
    
    He turns rivers into a desert,
        springs of water into thirsty ground,
    a fruitful land into a salty waste,
        because of the evil of its inhabitants.
    He turns a desert into pools of water,
        a parched land into springs of water.
    And there he lets the hungry dwell,
        and they establish a city to live in;
    they sow fields and plant vineyards
        and get a fruitful yield.
    By his blessing they multiply greatly,
        and he does not let their livestock diminish.
    
    
    When they are diminished and brought low
        through oppression, evil, and sorrow,
    he pours contempt on princes
        and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
    but he raises up the needy out of affliction
        and makes their families like flocks.
    The upright see it and are glad,
        and all wickedness shuts its mouth.
    
    
    Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things;
        let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

(Psalm 107 ESV)

Deliverance From Distress

 

The goodness and mercy of God ought to be acknowledged and praised by those whom He has redeemed. Psalm 107 calls God’s people to express their gratitude for the unique way in which God faithfully delivers us from our distress. No matter what our unfaithfulness may get us into, our God stands ready to rescue those who cry out to Him for help. 

How often do we feel as if we’re wandering through life ready to faint at any moment from the fears, troubles and temptations of this world? May our hunger and thirst in life become a hunger and thirst for the cure of the righteousness from God that satisfies our soul no matter our circumstances. 

How often do we feel as if we’ve been imprisoned by a cycle of sin in which there seems to be no hope of breaking free? May our despair turn into a desire for the grace and mercy of God found in the atoning and accomplished work of Christ that breaks the bars of bondage and sets the captives free. 

How often do we feel as if we’re victims of our own foolishness who constantly suffer the consequences of mindless mistakes in life and our relationships? May our mental mishaps lead us to seek the miraculous healing of God’s Word which equips us with wisdom that illuminates our life and instructs us on living.   

May our wisdom increase as we meditate upon the wondrous ways of God and His unwavering faithfulness to deliver His people from our distress and despair. Let us consider His steadfast love and return that love with hearts of great gratitude for His everlasting goodness and amazing grace.