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Summary: How to stay true to the faith when circumstances are fickle and things change around you

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Standing tall in an uncertain world

July 1999

Daniel 3

Is this an uncertain world? Right here where we live and breathe? Have you and I found certainty in this world? Just the other day while I was in Calgary, I heard from a friend of mine who works at a downtown office in Cal. I recall that she said she was working away on the 6th floor. However the Reform party’s office was on the 5th floor. Over the years they have made enemies. And I guess one of them made a bomb threat. Yup somebody wanted to Blow up the building where the Reform guys made their HQ. The crazy thing was - No one was allowed to leave the building. Scary, huh? You think they would evacuate. But no! Every floor searched and no bomb. Is this an uncertain world? You go to work you expect ordinary work day and lo behold a bomb threat and you could be blown to smithereens.

In Atlanta, millions go to work but on Thurs. (July 29) some experienced uncertainty of this world. Expect to come home, make it home but on that day nine office workers shot dead, 12 wounded and wife and two children of the killer were also found dead in their suburban world. Mark Barton 44 year old former chemist, turned day trader was reported upset about investment losses and marital problems. Gambled on an uncertain world and loss and carried out one of America’s deadliest office massacres.

Is there anyone here who can’t look up and see how circumstances change like the wind? At one point Cuba and the USA was expected to dominate the baseball competition in Pan Am Games in Winnipeg. However, all of a sudden, Canada emerged out of no way and beat the favorites. One songwriter says that life’s a highway but I wonder if life is more like a yo-yo? Life has twist and turns and never can predict what will happen. Much like our CFL team, BC Lions, 3-0, one minute you think they can conquer every team and suddenly they turn around, and were beaten by the lowly Winnipeg Bombers in past week.

But let’s think about story in Daniel. Do you think that these young fellas in story S, M and A, (Rach Shach, Benny) know the feeling of living in an uncertain world. In Daniel 1 we are told that at one time they had their own way of life, living in Judah but all of sudden things change, they were taken captive by King Nebu, Babylonian king and were shipped off to a foreign land. They had Jewish names Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Lost their Jewish names. But now known as SMA. Taught Babylonian language and literature. In Daniel 2 we find Daniel and SMA were threatened with execution no one was able to interpret the King’s dream. Things were going on fine - suddenly death threat. When God gave Daniel the interpretation of dream, Daniel and SMA placed in high positions.

And then Daniel 3 - King made image of gold 90 ft. high and 9 ft. wide and summoned all his top guys for the dedication of the image. Read v.4-6. Music starts fall down worship. SMA did not, were found out, King “furious with rage”. If they were not appointed to high positions, they in all likelihood won’t be there and now blazing furnace awaits them. Once again circumstances change.

Anyone here feel circumstances of life change? Ask around, see the broken homes, when all of a sudden the marriage partner opts out of marriage, lost jobs, found incurable disease, this weekend many travel to escape troubling circumstances and some may not make it back because this weekend according to stats is one of the most dangerous to travel. Fatality on roads. the Circumstances in Atlanta for the victims of Mark Barton did? What are your struggling with? What has changed? Look around and see with everyday circumstances can change, circumstances are fickle, you should not trust them to find meaning in life. One minute you are ok next you’re not. Shall we let circumstances of life manage our very existence. Shall we let the changing tide of our lives become the center of what we live for and strive for?

Many let it rule? If only I billion dollars, I would tithe, only I were married then life is great, if only I were healed solve my problem with God If only you show this sign, I believe. May prayers are offered to God, but what are usually for but to change circumstance. We should know circumstances are fickle.

SMA face circumstance of blazing furnace (v.15) (mentioned at least eight times, word furnace and fire even a few more times). King was so angry he ordered it be heated 7 times hotter (perfectly blazing hot) than usual (v.19). What will they do? Bow down? Let king have his way, let the circumstance of their life dictate how they act and feel , though it was no fault of theirs that they were there, but will they let their circumstance rule their lives..

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