With God on Mission: Faithful Exiles
Accounts in the scriptures like the ones we find in Daniel, show us the faithfulness of our God. They reveal a lot about the nature of our ancestors and how they viewed the world, and even more, about the saving, redemptive nature of God. The Israelites who are in exile, chose to disobey the Kings orders and bow down to an idol – who are then are thrown into a fire, and SURVIVE the flames, all because of their faith in the God, Yahweh. However, this account is in stark contrast to the stories we find in the New Testament. The familiar suffering and tribulation that we ourselves can often tell of first-hand, differs dramatically to the stories that we read about in the Old Testament.
Has God forgotten about his people? Where does God stand in suffering and in injustice? Does wrongdoing and pain and inequity and miscarriage win? The writer wants us to be aware that while there are flames and even death, there is someone else standing in the flames beside you, a strength that can pull you through the flames, and even through death itself. Or as the writer of Daniel puts it, strength and power looking like the “Son of God”.
This story is a powerful reminder that “faith” isn’t about the belief in the right kind of god – a god that can protect you supernaturally from the flames in life. Though He can, and He often does. “Faith” isn’t even about understanding the supernatural way that He spoke the world into being. Though He did, and He continues to do so. “Faith” is the understanding that we find ourselves in this world now – full of all the injustices, illnesses, sufferings, destructive forces and powers and death, and that He has called you to be different – to renounce evil and stand against hatred and malice of all kinds in seeking Him, and His Kingdom – and more than anything, the understanding that He stands with you through it.
Because faith through that kind of suffering could change the world.
Join with Senior Assistant Pastor Geoff Leader and the NewLife@10 service, as he explores Daniel deeper.
[bible passage=”Daniel 1″ heading=”h3″]
[bible passage=”Daniel 3″ heading=”h3″]
Through the series we’ll be utilising the Bible Timeline pictures to keep where we are in context. If you’d like to have a copy for yourself as a reference for the sermons or the LifeGroup studies you can download it by clicking on the link below.