Summary: With temperatures varying depending upon the weather outside, two like-sounding instruments come to our mind instinctively-thermometer and thermostat. Yours Truly in the midst of "sweltering Indian summer" has woven some spiritual truths around these two.
Of Thermometer and Thermostat Believers’
In every sweltering summer the temperatures soar. With mercury on the rise, oh how our tongues crave for that cool “elixir of life” (read pot or fridge water)! By the same token in chilly winter, the warm clothing shunned in summer now appears oh-so-inviting. Also how we wish controlling the temperature is well within our realm! That brings me to the topic about two “heat related” instruments…thermometer and thermostat. For the uninitiated, if the former merely “registers” the temperature, the latter “regulates” it. To further substantiate…while the thermometer reading changes depending on the temperature around it, thermostat rather than being influenced by the temperature around it (in hot summer or cool winter), changes the same for good.
Coming to the spiritual realm, there are only two types of believers’. If “thermometer” Christians are influenced by outward circumstances and pressures they bring in their wake to conform, the “thermostat “ believers rather than going with the ungodly majority, stand-up and change the world around them for good. Not for them conformity with the corrupt World around them (Rom 12:2).
Continuing with the “heat” subject, in this message Yours Truly is inspired to bring to the fore three Biblical incidents where one would see the godly “regulating” the “temperature” around them rather than merely “registering” it.
Calefactor (read Furnace)...
Hip, hip hooray (an anti-Semitic phrase meaning Jerusalem is fallen) shouted the enemies (especially the neighbours of Jews...Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites) in sadistic glee when the Jewish capital Jerusalem walls were razed to the ground and the majestic temple therein was burnt in 586 BC by the Babylonian army headed by King Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews were getting their Divine comeuppance alright for their continual, stubborn disobedience of worshipping idols despite so many warnings of the disastrous consequences heralded by the prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah.
Oh how God hated to bring about that calamity for it would conversely and adversely affect His own Holy Name (that He could not protect His people- Ezekiel 36:17-21) but there was no other way to bring about a change in the hearts of His covenanted people other than taking them through the chastising and cleansing fire of temporary exile! The previous two exiles of “Royal” class in 606 BC (Daniel 1:1-4) and the “Economy” class of people in 597 BC (2 Kings 24:16 ought to have to served as a warning to the hard-hearted Jews remaining in Jerusalem under the reign of idolatrous King Zedekiah that a bigger punishment would come their way, if they do not mend their ways (God’s punishments increase in severity always with passage of time...remember the Egyptian woes. Ditto with the imminent 7 year Tribulation period- Exo 7-12/ Rev 6-19). However, they paid deaf ear to the pleadings of Jeremiah the Prophet and finally the day of total Jerusalem destruction arrived much to the glee of their traditional enemies, who had no qualms in shouting (as I mentioned before) “Hip Hip Hooray”.
Would the Holy Name of the Almighty God remain tarnished in the eyes of the Gentiles for long? No way! Enter Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3 who were in Babylon from 606 BC as a part of the “first batch of exiles” along with their leader Daniel!!!
Within a year of total exile of the Jews from the “Land of milk and honey” in 585 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar perhaps inspired by the dream of majestic statue in 604 BC (Daniel 2....years of the incidents have been sourced fromhttp://biblehub.com/timeline/daniel/1.htm) himself constructed a huge statue and ordered all* in his realm to worship it (*at least those in and around the Babylon...for it would be impossible for everyone in the vast Babylonian empire stretching from the Persian Gulf on one side to River Nile on the other to come to the plains of Dura -where this idol stood- for obeisance). Any resistance to this Royal decree would lead one straight to the fiery furnace. Daniel at this time as one of the chief officials would have been away in a distant place on an official duty surmise the Biblical scholars. But his friends who were by his side right from the moment they said “no” to “Babylonian biryani” (Dan 1:1-16) in line with the statutes of Leviticus Chapter 11 were not so fortunate to skip away on some “foreign tour”. It was a “Do or die situation” for them both literally and figuratively speaking. That they did not bend to Royal pressure to worship a pagan idol, even as the grim prospect of being thrown alive into the fiery furnace loomed in front of their eyes is now part of chronicled World and Biblical history!!! What was the result of their holy defiance and their eventual miraculous deliverance from the searing furnace (Dan 3:8-25)? The “villain” in the whole story -King Nebuchadnezzar- is transformed for good, so much so He passes a royal edict that that true, living God of the Jews has to be revered all through out his vast empire (Daniel 3:28-29). His vast empire (all of 5 lakh square kilometres) meaning including the land of Moabites, Ammonites and Edomites who had shouted “Hip, Hip Hooray” just a year back? Yes Sir!!!