Even in Fire and Flood
“When you pass through waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” —Isaiah 43:2, NIV.
It’s not that any of us would like to test this promise but, truth is, there are times when we do feel overwhelmed as though by flood waters. There are moments when the “heat of the day” seems more than we can bear.
Then God comes along to tell us that though we might be up to our necks in water, we won’t go under; though we may feel the heat and smell burning in the air, we will not be consumed.
I always think of the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when I read this verse. You’ll remember them from the Book of Daniel in the Bible. These three men refused to bow down and worship a statute erected to honour the King of Babylon. They were God-followers and would not worship anyone other than God Almighty. For their disobedience the king prepared to have them thrown into a blazing hot furnace that he kept handy for such purposes. The challenge was clear. If their God was so great, He’d rescue them.
The statement Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego made to the king is classic. They declared their faith that God could rescue them, but if he chose not to do so they still would not bow down and worship the golden image of a mortal man.
God can rescue. We may never be fully aware of how many times he has rescued us. There will be times when, to accomplish His eternal purposes, He chooses not to rescue us. Whether He does, or He doesn’t, may we stand firm in our resolve to follow Him.
Oh, and by the way, in case you don’t know the end of the story, the three men were thrown into the furnace. Three went in, four walked around among the flames, and three came out without even the smell of smoke lingering on their persons.
Such is the God Who rescues us.