When the heat is really on and you wonder where God is, do you stay faithful to God or do you begin to look elsewhere for safety and security? Does your loyalty to God depend upon your circumstances or do you remain faithful (loyal) even when it seems God is silent? In the Old Testament book of Daniel is a story of three young Jews who remained faithful to God even when the heat really got turned up, literally! The story begins when the king issues a decree that everyone must bow down and worship a gold statue made in his image or be thrown into a fiery furnace. When the three men refused to obey the king’s decree he was furious and he summoned them, giving them two choices, either bow down to the gold statue or be thrown into a blazing furnace. They refused to worship the statue.
The story continues, and in Daniel 3:16-18 we read – 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.”
About now, Shad, Mesh, and Benny were probably wondering where God was as they were bound and thrown into the fiery furnace. This fire was so hot that several of the king’s soldiers were killed by the flames as they put the three men into the furnace. After some time, King Nebby had his advisors check on the status of Shad, Mesh, and Benny, no doubt convinced that they were cooked to “well done” by then. But guess what, the three men were seen walking around in the fiery furnace, unbound and unharmed. Plus, a fourth man was in there with them! How did he get in there?
Here is the rest of the story, continuing in Daniel 3:28-30 – 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. 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.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Not only were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego rescued by God, but an entire province witnessed this miracle and likely changed their allegiance from the king to God. Even the king himself praised this God who rescued Shad, Mesh, and Benny.
We ask you today – Do you have that kind of faith?
Dear Father, please grant us all the gift of ever increasing faith, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Father, help our faith bring praise and glory to You, and make our faith contagious so those around us “catch” it too. Amen