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May 24 – Blessed be the God of Israel!

Psalm 107:1 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Scripture readings: Daniel 3:26-30; Psalm 107:1-9

Writing about the courage of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they stood before Nebuchadnezzar, Calvin wrote, “We must bear [our accusers’] defamatory statements about us, for the time patiently, until the LORD shall shine upon us as the asserter of our innocence.” We don’t always know if we will be vindicated when we are confronted for the truth we proclaim concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the exclusive call to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be saved. The three men did not know if they would emerge from the fires or if they would succumb to their injuries. Nonetheless, they knew that the LORD would assert their innocence.

In this instance, the LORD displayed their righteousness in a dramatic fashion and Nebuchadnezzar was astounded by the scene before his eyes. Despite the ferocity of his furnace, they weren’t harmed in any way! When Nebuchadnezzar addressed the gathered crowd, he came close to confessing the name of God, but the tragedy in this scene is that his proclamation was still an external acknowledgment and not an internal surrender to the LORD, the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Under his banner, a proclamation went out that proclaimed the greatness of Yahweh, but it did not result in personal faith.

Which brings us to this sobering reminder: it is not enough to know true things about God. We must trust in the LORD with all our hearts and not lean on our own understanding or our strength or our own pride.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for the LORD’s name to be hallowed on earth as it is in heaven. Pray for assurance that His power is so great that we need not be anxious about anything!

Rev. Norman Van Eeden Petersman is the pastor of the Vancouver Associated Presbyterian Church and he is the husband of Rosanna and father of Elliott. Prior to being ordained in the Associated Presbyterian Church, he was the pastor of Adoration United Reformed Church in Ontario. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.


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