Daniel 3:16-18, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, ‘King 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 deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’”
You’re in a large group, and everyone is told to do something that makes you really uncomfortable. Everyone does it without hesitation — what do you do? Do you go along with the crowd, or do you refuse because it goes against your values? That’s the same predicament Daniel’s three God-fearing friends found themselves in when a 90-foot golden statue was revealed. As everyone was commanded to bow before it in worship or be thrown into a fiery furnace, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were the only ones to remain standing. Things were about to get hot for these brave God-fearing men!
King Nebuchadnezzar was outraged! He demanded that the three “rebels” be brought to him immediately. He threatened them with the fiery furnace and then offered to give them a second chance — surely they must have been confused, right?! But, no! As we see in the passage above, they had some pretty shocking words in response to the king, who in turn ordered his guards to tie them up and throw them into a fire. The blaze was so hot that the guards died from the heat as they threw them in, but the three young men remained alive, walking around in the fire. Then, King Nebuchadnezzar looked more closely and noticed a fourth man in the fire and recognized Him as the Son of God. He ordered them to come out of the fire, and the three did, unscathed.
How amazing is it to be in the face of imminent death and say, “Even if God doesn’t come through for us, we still refuse to worship you!” That is a conviction on a whole different level; it’s an unparalleled devotion and love for God that we should try to imitate today. Times are different, but Jesus is always with us in the “fire” to protect us, just as He did them. And we should note that they didn’t demand a miracle but placed their hope for one in God’s hands, and God delivered!
So, when things get hot, have faith. God is ready to deliver you unscathed!
Heavenly Father, I want to have the faith of Daniel’s friends. When life gets “hot,” I want to place my trust in You no matter the outcome. Please help me to live this out. Amen.