Daniel 3 shows God’s people in another flip-flop relationship with the one True God. (In fact, you will see this as a them from the beginning of man to right this very minute. Proof we have a patient God.) Now in the previous chapter of Daniel, we already meet King Nebuchadnezzar during a dream he took to Daniel. He was told by Daniel that one day God would destroy his Kingdom, because God’s in the only true Kingdom.
Well this ticked off King Neb (let’s shorten that for ease of reading and writing, why don’t we) and being the pompous man he was, he ordered that a huge golden statue be made and a rule was decreed; “Nations and every people, regardless of language, when you hear the sound of music it means you must stop what you are doing and immediately bow down to worship this statue. You don’t want to play by these rules; a fiery furnace awaits to burn you from your bum to your brain.”
Human nature stepped in and common sense had people bowing every time they heard the music. They worshiped over and over like one of those musical chair games, just with an engulfing fire waiting to consume who didn’t get down on time.
Except three men. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They loved the true God and were not about to bend their knee to some hunk of metal. Even King Neb warned them that they had one chance to bow or off to the furnace they were headed and added the taunt “We’ll see what your God does then.”
The three replied “Our God will save us from your little furnace, but even if He didn’t we will only serve him.”
King Neb got so mad he told them to make the furnace seven times hotter. The King’s men threw in the three insolent God lovers and got out their graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows (OK I made that last part up) King Neb watched on, but saw something was wrong.
“Didn’t you throw three men into the furnace?” he questioned.
“Yes, Your Majesty. Three there be.”
“But I see four men in there and they aren’t harmed at all.” The King in disbelief yelled for the three he sent in to come out if they could.
Out came the three smelling a little of smoke, but not even a hair was singed. When King Neb found out that God himself had gone to play in the Fire Games, he proclaimed “Praise be to the One True God. I command that no people of any nation say anything bad about this God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.”
Then they all had s’mores in celebration (I kid, I kid – that’s not in there.)
I wrote a post yesterday about what all I have learned from the time my husband committed suicide after years of domestic violence and one of the key points I wanted you to remember was “When you are at your lowest. Hold on….He will show up and get you out of there. He won’t leave you alone, but you got to ask with faith.”
I have a feeling that being thrown in a furnace was one of the lowest points of those three guy’s lives, but they refused to give up on their God. They knew this faith would also be reciprocated; He would not give up on them. In fact, He went in there to walk with them, talk about the heat wave and promise that they would be delivered.
The fires that we walk through may not actually be a jaunt through a fiery furnace. It could be a situation at your place at work, your home, with your family or with friends. It could be someone close to you is very ill or having a hard time. It could be just about anything, but we have a God who is prepared for the anything and the everything. He’s not just going to observe from a spot on a cloud with popcorn to see the outcome, He is going to walk through it with you.
He may yank you out of it and He may just be there to comfort you; to hold your heart. But He will be there.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1”