God the rescuer - able and free
On Sunday morning at Emmanuel we were in Daniel 3. The key word in the chapter is rescue/deliver, and the key verses are vv 16-19 with their remarkable, “But if not...”
We saw that:
God is able – He can rescue His people physically
God is free – He doesn’t always rescue His people physically
God is with us – He always rescues His people ultimately
We can listen to the sermon here
Six names from church history illustrate these great truths. Shadrach; Meshach; Abednego; Cranmer; Ridley; Latimer.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego show us that God is able – He can rescue His people physically as God chooses to deliver them from the fiery furnace in Daniel 3. Bishops Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer (pictured above) show us that God is free – He doesn’t always rescue His people physically as God chose not to deliver them from the fiery furnace in Oxford in 1555.
It seems that some Christians need to remember that God is able to rescue. Our view of God must not be too small and it is good to pray for physical rescue of those in need. It seems that other Christians need to remember that God is free. We must not think that God has promised to rescue His people physically or think that He has failed if He doesn’t.
All Christians need to remember that God is with us and that He always rescues His people ultimately. The little rescue here in Daniel 3 points us forward to the Big Rescue when the Lord Jesus died on the cross. Because of that Big Rescue, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer and all who trust in Christ are safe ultimately. And all who trust in Christ can know his presence with them in the fiery furnace (see the mysterious ‘fourth man’ in Daniel 3:25).