From The Heart

Publish date: 06/05/2005

The stories in the Old Testament are types and shadows of the realities of the New Testament. In the book of Daniel, God’s people were in captivity, living in a foreign land, serving a foreign king. Four men from the tribe of Judah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were trained up to serve king Nebuchadnezzar and the king found them to be wiser than any other of his learned magicians and astrologers. Because they honored God, He gave them great favor and promotion. This provoked much jealousy on the part of the other “wise” men and they sought an opportunity to bring them down.


If you are a child of God, you do not belong to this world or this world’s system. Your spiritual passport is stamped “Citizen of Heaven!” You are a stranger in a strange land. However, while you are here, if you honor the Lord and do right, He will bless and promote you. The devil may try to stir up strife against you, people and circumstances may line up against you, and it may seem as if all is lost, but if you commit wholly to God and serve and honor Him in all things and do the right thing because it’s the right thing, then the Lord will see you through. He will walk into the fire with you. 


In Daniel, chapter 3, King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. He called all his provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image. Everyone in Babylon was ordered to fall down and worship the image as soon as they heard music playing. They were informed that non-compliance would result in death in a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego served the king faithfully in natural matters, but in their worship, they were committed to God alone. There was no way that they could obey the king’s insane decree and so they didn’t. The Chaldeans (astrologers) did not waste any time pointing out to the king that they neither worshipped his gods or his golden image.


Nebuchadnezzar was enraged. He confronted them on their disobedience to his law and reminded them about the fiery furnace. “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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. But 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.’” (Daniel 3:16&17) They fully expected God to save them, but their commitment was such, that whether He did or not, they would still not bow to the idol. This made Nebuchadnezzar even madder and he had the fire heated seven times hotter. His strongest men tied Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego up tightly and threw them into the middle of the furnace. Because the fire was so hot, they were killed as they threw them into the fire. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego fell down bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then something amazing happened.


The king was shocked to see not three men, but four, walking around in the fire. Nebuchadnezzar recognized the fourth man – He was the Son of God! He also observed that though Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had been tightly and securely bound with ropes, now they were free. The fire had burned off the ropes, but they were completely untouched by the fierce blaze. He called them out of the fire and he and his people were astounded to see that the fire had not burned their bodies, their hair, or their robes at all. They did not even smell of smoke. They all realized that they were seeing a supernatural miracle take place in front of their eyes.


Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way." 30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon. Daniel 3:28-30 NIV


Even though Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fire tightly bound, now they could be seen walking around in the fire freely and there was a fourth man with them - the Son of God! The king was so impacted by this that he not only pardoned them, but he also promoted them. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s lives were spared, they became a sign and a wonder, and God was glorified in the eyes of the king and the Babylonian nation.


If you are persecuted for your obedience to God and His word; if the devil stirs up trouble against you; if you get thrown in the “fire”; don’t be afraid. Continue to trust God. He will go into the fire with you. You will not be burned; you won’t even have the smell of smoke on you. The only thing that will be burned up will be the limitations the devil tried to put on you. You will come out at an even better place than you went in! Your life belongs to the Lord; you are not your own; you are bought with a price. There is only one sure way to come out on top every time – submit to God at all times and in all things. If you will trust God absolutely and obey Him implicitly, He will bring you out completely!