Read Daniel 3:12-18 to start.
I imagine the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a familiar one for most of us. King Nebuchadnezzar commissioned a great golden image and had all his officials bow down and worship it in a show of obedience and loyalty. The three aforementioned Hebrews, unwilling to bow down to an idol in direct defiance of God’s laws, declined to do so, and there were repercussions. They were hauled in front of the king and asked to explain themselves, and were given a second chance to comply. They still declined.
Continue reading But If Not…
Read Job 38 to start.
We’re probably all reasonably familiar with the story of Job, how God allowed Satan to test Job, how Job remained faithful even when faced with severe personal loss, physical anguish, an unhelpful spouse and critical friends, and how eventually Job needed to learn that God is in control, and that Job was not quite as righteous as he first assumed. That’s where we joined the story, at the start of God’s reply from the whirlwind, where God lists the various marvels of creation, of the earth and indeed of the heavens as well. You might be wondering why I started there, near the end of the story, if I was going to preach about Job. There’s a good reason for that. It’s because this is not a sermon about Job. His story simply serves as the background.
Continue reading Why Doesn’t God Just Fix Everything?