Daniel 3:16-18, “16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17, If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18, But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Four men are brought from their land to so serve king Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. They were full of wisdom, good looking and the greatest thing, they trusted and depended on God. Everything seemed well until the king made his own gods (idols) forcing everyone to fall down and worship the gods he had made. Three men living for their true God were also challenged to bow down. What do you do when what you stand for is challenged? Situations bringing you two sides and you have to choose one. One presents you with the picture of the immediate consequences, the other promises relief. At one time, things were going on so well but then out of nowhere, everything you stood for was threatened. Should I blame God for bringing me to this place and then letting challenges come my way? Should I give up on God because of the new development? What is your stand? What is the truth? Are you willing to stand even if it means suffering the consequences in the hands of those who have made the decree? For Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, they were commanded to bow even given another chance to act, and they were told of the consequences (furnace heated 7 times hotter than the usual) if they did not bow. Let us see what they did.
Three things in their response in the situation, First, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace“. No question about God’s ability, He is the God of the impossibilities, the God who calls those things which are not as though they were. Jeremiah 32:17, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You“. Second, “…He will deliver us from your hand“, what a faith to see God coming your rescue when the pressure from people and things of this world challenges everything you stand for. Wonderful words, “Our God is able” and “He will deliver us” let’s see their third response to the king, “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up“. To someone, the last response could mean that they were not sure God would deliver them. I look at it differently, this is the extra mile walk many don’t want to go or unwilling to go, but this is the mile of surrender, this is the mile of the garden of Gethsemane experience, where you say “not my will but your will be done”. This is the mile that says, “God allow me to go through what brings You more glory”. The three men desired God’s will, they said, “17, If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18, But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up”
If God would not deliver them from the furnace of fire, He must have counted them worthy to go through it., Acts 5:41, “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 2Thessalonians 1:5, “.. that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer“. Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us“. They obeyed God rather than men, this was an opportunity for them to shine for God. The situation got worse, the furnace was heated 7 times hotter than usual. The hotter the heat, the greater the glory. Bound and thrown into the fire. Two things to note, 1. the fire could only burn what needed to be burnt and revealed who needed to be revealed. The fire burnt the ropes they were tired with, freeing them and 2. the Son of God was revealed in the midst of the fire. I do not find anywhere in the scripture where they were quick to get off the fire. Through their stand, the decree was changed by the king himself who said, “no one should worship any god apart from the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego” (paraphrased). Three men’s stand made a difference, they were counted worthy for “greater is He that is in us, that he that is in the world”. I want to be counted worthy, how about you?, Blessings Ev, God’s servant