Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. Daniel 3:19
Our children who go to Sunday school are acquainted with the story from which today's text for the Daily Devotion is taken.
They know how the Lord preserved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the over-heated furnace.
Now it would seem, figuratively speaking, there are Christians in the same spot. In Sudan's Darfur region there are three predominantly Christian tribes who are being persecuted. So far, 300,000 have been killed and another 2.5 million forced to flee. According to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the surviving victims have been subjected to repeated rape and torture.
Now that body has issued an arrest warrant for the country's president, Omar Bashir.
With China, the African Union, and the Arab League on Bashir's side, little can be done to enforce that warrant. Instead, Bashir, like Nebuchadnezzar, has turned up the heat in the furnace.
He has ordered 13 international aid agencies out of the Sudan. Those are the 13 agencies responsible for 60 percent of the humanitarian aid getting through to the people in Darfur.
Short of a miracle, which the Lord has shown He can do, there is little earthly hope for these -- our brothers and sisters.
It is for such a miracle that we will pray at the end of our devotion. First, however, let us ask the Lord to sustain these people in their faith. May the crucified and risen Lord enable them to withstand the forces of hatred, prejudice, and persecution. Second, let us come to the Lord and ask Him, if such be His will, to intervene for those who are being tortured and tormented.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, once You intervened directly and saved the earthly lives of three of Your servants. Now we ask that if such be Your will, extend Your protecting hand to the Christians of Darfur. May they remain faithful, even to death if it serves to show the world the salvation victory of the Savior. If possible, may their government be brought to realize their sin -- and Your justice. In Jesus, I ask it. Amen.
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In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries