We live in a society with a current culture that suggests the way we do certain things needs to change. We are now facing a “new normal.” Society tells us that we might need to think how we have been doing things in the past. We should bend traditions and convictions...and even the truth to accommodate the unprecedented times in which we live.
And yes, everything right now in our media is prefaced with the word “unprecedented.” Our economy is unprecedented, the corruption is unprecedented, the Coronavirus is unprecedented.... Most of the time, when we hear this word thrown around, it’s simply a manipulation of our emotions.
When you erase a precedent, there’s nothing for you to look back upon in order to decide how to move forward, and you start to erase history; everything around you begins to change. It’s unprecedented. That’s why we have to close the churches down. It’s unprecedented. That’s why our kids can’t attend school in person. It’s unprecedented. That’s why you can’t stand within six feet of someone unless you’re at a peaceful protest.
I want to tell you...our times are not unprecedented. They are, as Paul describes... “perilous.”
Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-3, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful,unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good...”
Church, it’s time for us to decide what we believe. It’s time for us to recognize that these are not unprecedented times. This is just our time to take a stand!
Our old beliefs, our old convictions, our old traditions, our old truths are based on the solid and firm foundation of God’s Word.
His Word is truth. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And His Word does not change.
His name is greater than every form of sickness and disease, and that includes the Coronavirus. He is stronger than any political agenda men can create. He has conquered death, hell and the grave that we might be redeemed and set free to live in heaven for all of eternity, if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
Now let’s talk about Daniel for a minute. Daniel 3:16-18 says, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
I know you are familiar with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. These three young Hebrew men were living in unprecedented times, having had everything stripped from them. They thought they would grow up in Jerusalem. They were sent to Babylon. They thought they would have families. They were forced to serve as eunuchs in Nebuchadnezzar’s palace. They thought they would have thriving businesses, like their fathers and grandfathers did before them. Instead, they were living as slaves in a pagan kingdom. Everything that they had believed and hoped for...was gone. But still, these three young men were going to distinguish themselves by doing all things with excellence, regardless of their circumstances.
And so, it is with each of us. No matter what society says, what social norms dictate, what the media tries to pitch as the “new normal” ...we still have a choice!
You can read the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar brought 70,000 young people from Jerusalem back to Babylon, placing them in submission to the chief eunuch, who served the king. The king demands that they eat the food from his table, but the three Hebrew men refuse (because the food had been prayed over to pagan gods and offered as sacrifices on pagan altars). They served Jehovah God, and so they refused to eat the food from the king’s table.
Nebuchadnezzar wanted to meet the three Hebrew men who refused his food. He could not find anyone as exceptional. They had distinguished themselves by the choices they had made.
Fast forward to Daniel, chapter three. Nebuchadnezzar builds a gold statue and lets everyone know...when you hear the trumpet sound and the stringed symphony starts to play... you must bow. The trumpet sounds. Hundreds of thousands of people bow...but not Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
Here they are in an unprecedented time and place, standing up for what they believe. And you have to know that there were plenty of people around them saying, “Hey! Get down! It’s time to bow. He will kill you, if you don’t bow.” And yet...they stood for what they believed.
They are once again brought before the king. And Nebuchadnezzar is very intent on sharing his pagan religion with the region. When the three Hebrew men are questioned, the words written in Daniel most definitely seared the sensibilities of the politically correct king. “...we have no need to answer you in this matter.” They are looking the most powerful man on the earth in the eye, knowing that they will very likely be killed.
They told the king... “GOD WILL NOT FAIL US.” And, you know the rest of the story. But think about this for a moment. When they walked into the flames that were intended to kill them, the Fourth Man was already there. He didn’t enter the scene late in the game. He was already preparing a way for them. He was making a way where there seemed to be no way.
Church, this is our time! We must stand up and speak up for what we believe. We cannot bend, we cannot bow, we cannot break. We serve a God who has never known defeat. His name is Jehovah. He is the Almighty, ever-present God who knows our end from the very beginning. And He delights in our well-being. If we are willing to place our times in his hands, no matter how unprecedented the circumstances might seem...He is more than able to lead us out to rich fulfillment, to a life more abundantly blessed than we could ever begin to imagine. Don’t let the pressure of our society, the bad news from the media, the “new normal” make you think for one second that you need to reset your way of thinking. When your life is based upon the Word of God, upon His promises which are yea and amen... only great things can happen for you, things with eternal blessings.