God in the face of Injustice

Youth Daily Devotional Blog: 06/02

Written by: Intern Sam B. Nguyen
Scripture Reading: Daniel 3:24-28
Our God is one of many characteristics. He is a God of kindness. He is a God of love. He is a God of forgiveness. And he is a God of justice.

I remember not too long ago, I was sitting in on a pastor’s sermon during a visit to New York City. He was a sweet man, all cargo shorts and floral shirts. The worship was taking place in Central Park, and I remember the serenity of the scene distinctly in my mind. The birds were chirping in the trees, and the sun was high in the sky. Not far, a family of bikers rolled through, giving us gentle waves. However, despite the pastor’s calming demeanor and the beautiful space that we were worshipping in, the topic matter of his sermon was one of violent significance. New York City is a city well known for its history of civic unrest, protest, and public fights against injustice. He was reminding his congregation of the violence that often was the cost of social justice. He reminded the congregation that God was, is, and will be a God of justice, and despite our reservations, God calls us to stand by justice.

This short scripture in Daniel is nothing if not proof of God’s call to fighting injustice. Here, three worshippers of God — Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego — are thrown into a flaming furnace because they choose to protest the rule of an unjust king. They are meant to die here, as cost for their refusal to listen to the king’s rule. But they don’t. When the king looks into the furnace, he sees the three men perfectly safe, protected from the flames by the presence of God. And just as God stood by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were punished for standing against unjust rule, God stands by us in our acts of protest.