Daily D – Daniel 3:16-18
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, You Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” DANIEL 3:16-18 (NLT)
For Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, aka Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, God had nothing left to prove. He could certainly deliver them from the fiery flames, even the seven-times-hotter-than-normal flames of an outraged king. There was nothing more God had to do to prove himself to these men.
So, Nebuchadnezzar had them tossed into the flames to satisfy his wrath. God did not save them from the flames; he saved them through them. As they already knew from previous experience, they were never alone. God sent another to join them in the fire to protect and preserve them.
The king called them out of the fire — and only them. He wanted nothing to do with the Other Guy. The only thing different about these three young men from when they went into the fire was the ropes used to bind them were gone. “The fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!” (v. 27).
The same God who can save from fiery flames and other disasters can save through them. I wonder how many people across the ages have read or heard this story and had their faith strengthened? I wonder how many will thank these men one day in heaven for trusting God in the face of impossible odds?
Sometimes God saves from danger. Sometimes God saves through danger. Sometimes people perish. Notice what these three friends knew and demonstrated: The other side of the curtain is a place of perfect peace.
Notice also these three men were never alone. The fire made visible what these men knew to be true. When it looks like we are surrounded, we are surrounded by our Shepherd, our Father in heaven (Psalm 23:4, 5).
What would you do if God asked if you knew he would be with you come fire or flood or any other danger? There is nothing you will ever face that God will not be with you to provide, to protect, to preserve, or to prepare a place for you with him forever.
Listen to Isaiah 43:2:
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
Listen also to John 14:3:
When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael knew this. They staked their lives upon it. God provided for them in the fire. God took them home on his timetable and not Nebuchadnezzar’s. Don’t miss the bottom line of this chapter found in verse 30:
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.
Faith is rewarded in the flames and on the other side. These three friends had an “even if he doesn’t” save us kind of faith. It served them, and Nebuchadnezzar and his court, well. What would be different in our world if every believer had faith like that in every domain of community life?
I will trust God in all situations.
Our Father, your truth, your reality, demonstrates the lie of powerful people and their potent threats. You rescue, restore, and reward those who trust in you. You take us to yourself in your timing to be with you where you are forever. You are as with us now as you were with those three men in that flaming furnace. Give us their confidence in this season of pandemic and in all the challenges before us. Amen.
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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”