Summary: Second in the series based on Max Lucado’s book 6 Hours one Friday. God worked miracles for Moses, Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abendego, and he will do it for us if we learn to trust and obey.
He’ll do it again
Last week we discussed the three F’s the three storms that hit us. One of those was the Futility. Futility hits especially when we are weary. We stay up nights and instead of counting sheep, we count our debts, our tasks, maybe even our heartbreaks. We are weary, we are tired, slapped by the waves of broken dreams, weary of being slapped by waves that run over us in that endless marathon to the be first, weary of the waves of misplaced trust, or staring into the future and seeing only futility. It steals our zeal it steals our dreams
Few things can weary us like the fast pace of the human race. There are too many marathons, too many sprints, too many masquerade parties, too many times pretending to be what we are not to get what we want. In the end, we are left on the sidelines trying to catch our breath.
It isn’t the schedule that wearies us, it is the questions. We don’t always admit it, but sometimes we ask ourselves “is it worth it?” There was a song I used to hear, not sure of the name, I think it was Tennessee Williams, “what do you get, another day older and deeper in debt.” We ask ourselves is it worth it, will this get me where I want to be, will it be worth the price I paid?
Moses comes back to do what God told him to do. Go tell Pharaoh “let my people go.” Instead of deliverance, further hardships are brought to the people Moses was supposed to lead out. Finally, after the plagues hit, Pharaoh relents and lets Moses lead the people to the Promised Land. As the people leave, Pharaoh changed his mind, and he goes after the Israelites. Pinned between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea, Moses stands with the people. Was it worth it?
In a Babylonian prison, exiles are held, prisoners of war. Nebuchadnezzar had the prisoners fed. Meat offered to idols is the dinner given to the Jewish exiles. One of them a boy named Daniel, stood up for what he believed. Was it worth it?
Later this same young man will stand up to Nebuchadnezzar and spare the lives of all the magi in the land. His life is a constant battle with an egomaniac ruler, and his God. Later he would come out of retirement so to speak, to interpret the writing on the wall. What does he get for his troubles, another day in exile, another day away from his home, Jerusalem? Do you think he wondered, “Is it worth it”
We have had revivals, only to see a few turn out, the truly faithful. No new souls come to these revivals, are they worth it? We had programs, VBS, concerts and the like, yet no new souls, is it worth it? The ancient enemy of God whispering in the darkness, can you really make a difference?
You are at work; you are doing your job to the best of your ability. You sit in the lunchroom and hear those course jokes, the crude remarks. You know you should say something, but you begin to wonder, can one man make a difference? You have tried and tried, yet the wave of futility keeps hitting you back.
Moses has led the people through the Red Sea and to Mt Sinai. Moses has been on the mountain for a while conversing with God. The people down below however decide to engage in revelry and debauchery. Moses comes down with the law and the diagrams for the tabernacle. He finds the camp involved in idol worship and all sorts of debased behavior. Was it all worth it?
The ruler of the land decided to make a golden god, a great statue. He makes a law that as soon as everyone hears the trumpet or horn sound, everyone is to stop what they are doing and bow down to the statue. Three men convicted that such a thing is wrong decide not to obey. They could’ve hid, they could have conceded saying to themselves that it really does not matter since it really isn’t worship. Maybe they even try to tell others. In the end, they are the ones standing trial. Just bow down, but they won’t. Maybe in the back of their minds they are asking, “Is it really worth it?” Yet with full resolve, they stand and say, “Even if God does not deliver us, we will not bow down.”
Weary of a lifelong battle for righteousness, Daniel does not give in to Darius’ command to only pray to him. Daniel stands up and with windows open to pray facing toward Jerusalem three times a day. Darius orders Daniel into the Lion’s den.