“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the King, O Nebuchadnezzar…if it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O King. But if not, may it be known unto thee, O King that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (1)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego displayed a pure virtue of faithfulness, attributed to the only, great and awesome God, Lord and Savior. Only our God; is worthy of such aspirations!
Men of integrity reverenced the Lord, and trust in Him. How is integrity developed? Many times character is developed in trial, such as in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men’s character was tested when they made a “solitary stand” and refused to worship the idol Nebuchadnezzar set up. To chose not to follow the King’s orders had serious ramifications. As a consequence they were set in a fiery furnace of fire, yet they came out unscathed and unharmed. How could they survive such intense heat? With pure hearts they trusted in God alone to deliver them. They choose to make no compromise! By standing out they proved God exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Their bold evidence pleased God above all else and reflects of their devotion to God? How do we aspire to emulate such undivided allegiance to God when tested? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are examples to us to stand strong and not allow compromise to diminish our testimonies.
God allows suffering and trials, which become our personal testimonies. Some trials are more intense than others; but no matter the intensity they all work for our good. In the furnace of trial we are held in the arms of a tender God. Lovingly, He asserts the right amount of pressure suitable for us to find His grace sufficient. He considers the right conditions, pressing and molding us through each one, with the right measure of force. In the midst of our failures and poor choices, we are held by a sovereign God who controls and measures each struggle in proportion to what He deems best for us, working them for His refining purposes. Remember, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, without making provisions for us to be able to bear each testing. (2) Sin may leave its blot of stain, but God uses all things to accomplish His perfect plan. In effect it produces His desired results in the end. That is; to be made more liken to Christ. To the praise of His glory! (3)
Ancient stories of heroes of faith, such as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendnego inspire us to be a radiate star shining for God’s glory. The principle of faith they held onto was trust through Jesus Christ. In this story we see God honors those who honor Him. Miraculously, God delivered them through the blazing fire. Is your trust in Jesus evident in your trial? Troubles and toils are used to purge away your sins to refine you as silver is refined. “For thou, O God hast proved us; Thou has tried us, as silver is tried.” (4) As you are purified and refined you will stand out like a light in a darken world. You will be a witness by reflecting God’s glory greater than ever before.
Note two key observations: first, three men went into the furnace but four men, walking unbound were seen in the midst of the fire. The fourth person was Jesus, walking with them in the fire. The second key observation is: when these men of God were placed into the fire note what burned. It wasn’t their flesh, hair, garments, shoes, or anything else, except for the ropes that bound them. Those ropes that tied them up represented sin which binds and holds us in its tight grip. At the cross Jesus cancelled out all debt of sin to free us from sins hold. Only He can deliver us!
Bless You O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is great. Lord please grow a spirit of trust and obedience in me. Remove the dross of sin in me, so I will, wonderfully reflect Your love and glory. Thank You for pardoning all my iniquities. Your work is marvelous. I stand amazed to see how You work everything with skill and wisdom. You are an awesome God. Amen.
1. Daniel 3:16a-18 esv
2. 1 Corinthians 10:13 nas
3. Romans 8:29 nas
4. Psalm 66:10 niv