This week’s article is written by the Rev. James Wheeler, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
What do you believe? In what or whom do you put your faith? A classic scripture for the difference in belief and faith can be found in the Book of Daniel, chapter 3. It’s the story of three young men, exiled to Babylon, who refuse to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue. The penalty, of course, is death by being thrown into a superheated furnace.
The trio stand up to the king with these words, “We have no need to present a defense to you in this matter. If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. But if not, be it known to you, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.” — Daniel 3:17-18.
In essence, they believe the king’s threat, and they believe that God is able to save them, if he chooses, but if not, then they die in the fire by God’s will. Either way, they choose to trust God over the king, in life or in death, and put their faith in God for their life and fate.
I can believe in God and in death, but I put my faith in God and his grace. No defense is needed.