Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Azariah is in a bit of a situation: he has been placed in the middle of a fire by one of those Old Testament kings with an unspellable name. He is in the fire along with Daniel. What else can he do but pray?
“Oh, Lord, do not abandon us forever for the sake of your name,” cries Azariah to a God who appears to have deserted him. We often feel deserted and alone and we feel that there is no hope for us. Azariah reminds God of all the promises that God made to his ancestors, Abraham and Isaac. Then he goes on to state his case:
“And now we put our whole heart into following you.”
This was why he was in the fire in the first place; he would not bow down and worship the king, following the Jewish rule that there is only one person you bow to, God. But Azariah goes on to almost challenge God,
“Grant us deliverance worthy of your wonderful deeds.”
Azariah is in a hotspot but he is trusting in the Lord, his faith remains strong and he does not doubt that God can remove him from the fire or keep him safe in the middle of it.
What happens to us when we are in trouble is that we usually tend to lose faith and forget that the Lord is master of all: ‘he cannot help us now,’ is our default mode of thinking.
If we try to hold on to faith right through to the end then we often see God’s work in all its glory, when we lose faith and panic, then the eyes of our heart are closed to the work of God. He still does the work but we can’t see it. Eventually we do come to understand that God was there all along. We call this ‘hindsight’ but poor old Azariah was not in the position to wait for hindsight.
If it was us we would all have probably died in a torrent of fire, overcome by fear.