Daniel 3

Daniel 3  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
In this chapter we have the spirit and character in which the godly remnant will pass through their trials. It is not in that character, however, i.e., not the outward difficulties and deliverances as here referred to, but it is the spirit of the thing that I desire to call your attention to, because there are various trials which attend the soul while passing through this world. In Israel God was showing forth His mighty power in temporal deliverances, as in the case of Pharaoh; but with us it is a different thing. Being spiritually delivered, we are waiting for God's Son from heaven. All through, those that are faithful to God have always been a suffering people. Obedience and reliance on God characterize the seed all through.
Now it is another thing we find here (besides the love of power;) they use religion to unite and band together-to oblige conformity to the king's word-no matter whether king or pope if it is his religion, for religion being the strongest motive in the human heart, men use it to sway and influence others to gain their own selfish ends, and it must suit man. And here we find it in full perfection. He who wielded God's power, and in whose hands God put it, never used it on God's part; for when God had tried man as the Jews by the law, &c., and they failed, He puts absolute power in the hands of one man, and instead of his using it in serving God, he sets up an image and commands all men to worship it. And what do we find God's people doing? They abstain from it in the character of the Remnant-they will not submit-they do not do it, and it is a great crime of course, upsetting the whole thing. Then comes persecution, and to that they do submit. However God might allow His people to suffer, nothing ought to alter their reliance on Himself. Faith was as simple a thing in Babylon as in Jerusalem. God is the God of heaven and earth at all times, and none can hinder His power or the exercise of it in grace towards His people. He may suffer them to be in trial-He may not always give outward deliverance; but patience is always the same, and the ground of confidence is the same here in Babylon as in Jerusalem. If the circumstances and trials are different and great, the Lord's power of interfering is always the same-it never hinders that. The outward trial may hide God's power from our eyes, but He is always the same.
I doubt not in this day many a heart is feeling discouraged and ready to say, " Who will show us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us;" and what could you get more? for what is better or mightier than the light of God's countenance? However sorrowful we may be about things, that is not to weaken our confidence in God. It was when all seemed hopeless in Israel, that " Emmanuel " was found among them. And, however hopeless the condition of God's people may seem, when a false god is set up, God re-. mains the same.
Mark the perfect power of the king, and the perfect patience of these faithful sufferers. If they had resisted the power, it would have been over in a moment; as they would then have taken it out of God's hand. But now they change the king's word by their patience. If they had opposed Nebuchadnezzar, it would have been all over, for God gave the king his power; but they submitted, and therefore God could deliver them.
The effect of these faithful ones being in the trial is-what? Why, the identification of their names with God-as He is also called the God of Abraham. " Whoever shall speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego." What a blessed thing to be thus associated with God; having His name associated with theirs. And how blessed the identification of the saints with the God who is not ashamed to be called their God. It was by non-resistance-by bowing to the power and will of God; although evil as regards the exercise of it in the king's hand. If we get in the humble, low place of suffering under the power, we shall find God's power will be put forth to deliver.
We see here what quietness and peace of heart, whether it be refusing to worship, or suffering the furnace, or coming out with honor; it is sure to bring the blessed reward of ever having God's name identified with ours; and the God whom we have known as our God, and whom we have cleaved to in trial down here, and He to us, is the same whose name attaches itself to us in the glory.