ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE FURNACE
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “… If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” ~Daniel 3:17-18
The story that unfolds of Daniel’s three compatriots defies all logic. Enraged by the above response of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the king commands the furnace to be turned up 7 times hotter than usual and mandates the three friends be bound and thrown into the fiery furnace. Due to the flames lapping from the intense fire, we learn that the soldiers who simply led Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to the furnace, were killed in the process. Daniel 3:23 states, “these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.”
King Nebuchadzezzar “leaped to his feet in amazement” as he acknowledged 4 men walking around in the inferno, free from shackles, and unscathed. Four men, not three. Our God, who thwarts the plans of men, and has the final word, not only protected these men, but walked through the fire with them. The Bible records their bodies were unharmed, no part of their clothing was scorched and not a hint of the aroma of fire was found on them. As a result, King Nebuchadnezzar humbly chose to praise the One true and living God who Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego upheld as the only One worthy of devotion. The King professed:
“They trusted in God and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.” ~Daniel 3:28b
These three young men were fully persuaded that God could categorically save them. Nevertheless, they were fixed in their position of unabashed adherence to their Creator, despite impending and what would seem, certain death.
Do you believe God is able to do all things? Do you believe He can deliver you from whatever trial you are facing? Do you trust Him enough to abide in Him and find peace in His will for your life, regardless of what is looming in your future?
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. ~Corrie ten Boom
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the furnace, the fire did not stop them from moving, for they were seen “walking around.” Actually, the fire was one of the streets they traveled to their destination. The comfort we have from Christ’s revealed truth is not that it teaches us freedom from sorrow but that it teaches us freedom through sorrow. ~George Matheson
We are assured of suffering in this life. No one is immune. The question remains: will you see times of testing and adversity as necessary paths on your journey to God’s final destination, which is incomprehensible?
Don’t miss the unequivocal fact that not just these three young men, but four individuals, were seen in the fiery furnace. God walked through the fire with them. He will walk through the fire with you and me. We put our faith in an enduring God who is ever-present. Let us stand firm, despite how we feel, despite how bleak the horizon may be, and decisively believe God can do all things. Even if the outcome is not as we would desire, let us trust our future to God, unswervingly.
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