February 15, 2013 • By Ed Wrather
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel.... - Daniel 3:28c NKJV.
My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me.... - Daniel 6:22a NKJV.
Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish's belly. And he said: "I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction, and He answered me." - Jonah 2:1-2a.
So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." - Matthew 14:29-33 NKJV.
But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. - Acts 28:5-6 NKJV.
Xiao Li a 20-year-old college student had a close call with an express train traveling at 90mph in Shaodong, China in Hunan Province. Li asked a friend to take some photos of her with her hair blowing while the train zoomed by in the background. Somehow, Li stumbled, or came too close to the train, and the train hit her shoulder; which knocked her down. Li described what happened by saying, "I felt this sudden bump and I was flying sideways. The train stopped, and the driver thought he must have killed me. I didn't realize I was so close. My shoulder was badly bruised, but I'm lucky to be alive." (Orange News 02.08.13)
There are some really close calls recorded in the Bible. There is the close call of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego with the fiery furnace. Daniel had the close call with the lions in the lions' den. Peter had his short hike on the water which ended when he began to sink. The apostle Paul had the close call with a shipwreck, a poisonous snake, a murderous mob, and others. Of course, we all remember Jonah's close call with that big fish.
There is a striking difference between the reaction of Xiao Li to surviving a potentially deadly event as compared to those who survived them, or witnessed them in the Bible. With the close calls in the Bible, there is no reference to those survivors being "lucky." But in these days it is increasingly common to hear someone say that they were "lucky" to survive or escape injury from something. I know that I have said it myself without even thinking. It is a common saying. Many people say it. The problem is that when we credit our survival or good fortune to "luck" we are robbing God of the glory that should be His.
It is not "luck" which has allowed me to be still be alive. It is only through the power of God. How many times has God protected me? How many times has He protected you? I know that the times and the ways of God's protection, support, help, empowerment in my life are incalculable. I can only praise Him for His mercy, and give Him all the honor, glory, and praise for anything good in my life! Luck, has had nothing to do with it.