King Nebuchadnezzar had made a large statue of gold and commanded that everyone must worship the statue whenever they heard the royal music – they must worship the statue, or face terrible consequences! “Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace” (Daniel 3:6).
Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were determined to live with an uncompromising faith. They believed God’s Word and obeyed His commands: “You shall have no other gods before Me…you shall not bow down to them or worship them” (Exodus 20:3,5). These three young Jewish men took a stand and refused to worship the golden statue. Their devotion to God was greater than their fear of the fire; “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it…But even if He does not, we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
Nebuchadnezzar was furious and followed through on his threat: “He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace” (Daniel 3:19-20). But when Nebuchadnezzar looked inside the furnace, he was amazed by what he saw.
“Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
As they were facing the fire, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego saw no chance of escape, but they placed their complete trust in God – a trust which would not falter even if they were burned. But rather than being burned by the fire, these three men were freed from their binding ropes and walked with “a son of the gods,” who many believe is an Old Testament reference to Jesus Christ! (The KJV renders this verse “…like the Son of God.”) In their time of greatest need, God comforted these young men and set them free.
The fires in our life WILL come. The heat will seem intense! But we must not fear, or abandon what we know to be true. Our faith is ALWAYS refined and made stronger by fire; “the testing of your faith develops perseverance” (James 1:3). Fire will always teach us to trust more deeply and worship more sincerely. When we really believe this truth, it will become possible to actually rejoice in the face of fire. We can rejoice because we KNOW He is in complete and absolute control of every area of our life – this is true freedom! Let’s walk with a bold faith, knowing our Father is there to comfort and protect us, knowing He will strengthen us and set us free in the fire.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jan 18 Genesis 37:1 – 38:30; Matthew 12:22-45; Psalms 16:1-11; Proverbs 3:27-32