Daniel chapter 3 gives us an incredible account of three men who found themselves in the middle of an inferno.
It was a political inferno, instigated by those who hated Jews.
It was also a very real inferno.
I believe there are several key principles in the story you probably know so well.
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego loved, served and honoured God. So should we.
- They fully obeyed God’s very first commandment – “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3), despite the very real threat that not bowing down to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol meant being thrown into a “blazing furnace” (Dan 3:6) Obedience to God is everything
- When the command to bow down to the idol was given, they alone stood when everyone else bowed. To stand against a crowd is an act of true bravery
- Despite the king giving them one more chance, they not only refused to bow the knee, they clearly stated their total faith and trust in God, whatever He chose to do, stating:- “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.18But 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.” Dan 3:17-18. Their trust was in God’s sovereignty, not in His ability to deliver them
- They were bound by the strongest soldiers in Nebuchadnezzar’s army, who ensured that they were “firmly tied” Some may tell you that if you have enough faith, the fire you find yourself in will disappear. The fire is real. Know that God never promises to take you around a problem, but He does promise to bring you THROUGH it
- In his rage, the king ordered the fire to be heated 7 times more than was usual. However, God was still in charge
- The increased inferno heat killed those outside the furnace who had attempted to throw the 3 young men inside. They died outside the fire, but the 3 men, firmly tied, fell in. There is a cost for those who seek to harm God’s children, but that cost is administered by God and not us.
- Suddenly the king himself saw not three but four, “walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (Dan 3:25). God was using this incident to reveal Himself not just to the 3 young men.
- The first effect of the fire was to burn off the things that had bound them – they walked around freely. The God who can burn through the ropes that bound them, without singeing a single hair on their bodies, is more than capable of precision deliverance.
- They were physically unharmed by this apparent ordeal, and their clothes remained unscorched in any way. They were able to walk out fully clothed, with great dignity. God will bring you out of the fire – walking tall , free, and unharmed
- There was no indication that Shadrach Meshach and Abednego had ever been anywhere near a fire. When God works such miracles, there will be no ongoing trauma
- The end result started as a complete reversal of the original problem, but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were also promoted! God used the incident to not only save them, but to ensure that King Nebuchadnezzar also praised God.
What fire are you going through?
There is more at stake here than you can possibly realise.