Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Communion with Risen Lord in Daily Life
Long Island MTC, NY
17 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar built an image of gold in Babylon, and issued a decree stating that whenever one hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, they must worship the golden image. If one disobeys this decree, they would be thrown into a burning furnace.
Certain astrologers who opposed the Jews reported to King Nebuchadnezzar that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not worshipping the idol. The King first reprimanded the three, then threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace. They replied, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.” (Verse 16) They knew in their hearts that they should not be practicing idolatry, therefore they stood firm in their faith in God. Their faith in God strengthened them enough to say, “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.” (Verses 17-18) In these verses, the three friends acknowledged the sovereignty of God, and also the will of God, which may be different from their own wills.
After standing firm in their faith, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the furnace, which was heated seven times hotter than usual (7 is seen as a number signifying completion). When they were thrown in, the guards who brought them there were killed by the immense heat. When King Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace, he was astonished to see four unbound men in there walking around. The fourth “man” looked divine. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not harmed in any way from the fire. It is evident that the Lord was with these men through their test of faith. The three friends condemned idolatry, and reserved all of their worship and glory for God alone. The strong faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego caused King Nebuchadnezzar to rejoice saying, “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.” We must always try to keep away from idolatry, and only worship the Lord God Almighty.
Father God, we thank You for being with us through our trials and tribulations. Help us to do everything for the glory of Your name. Help us to follow in the example of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and trust in You even through our hardest times. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
God doesn’t save us from the fire, he saves us through the fire.