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The world watched nervously as rescuers set free 33 trapped miners in Chile. Many thought they might perish, but scientists and technicians worked tirelessly to get them out. Of course, we know that such rescue efforts do not always work, but when they do, most people give credit to God. The Bible records many instances of rescues—some miraculous. We read about one in the book of Judges. The Moabites were oppressing the Israelites. For 18 years, they demanded that the Israelites deliver tribute to the Moabite king. Finally, one brave tribute messenger decided to do something. After delivering the money and pretending to leave, he turned back. He used his hidden sword to take the life of this king. In this way, he delivered his people from paying the annual tribute. The truth is, however, God does not always deliver His people from danger. During the first three centuries of Christian history, hundreds—if not thousands–of African Christians died for their faith. They were eaten by lions, walked through fire, and met death by sword. They suffered because they refused to deny their faith in Jesus Christ. They remembered what Jesus promised. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”

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