"Nebuchadnezzar asked them, "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you don't serve my gods or worship the gold statue I have set up? Now if your're ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, siter, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don't worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire-and who is the god who can rescue you from my power?"" Daniel 3:14-15
Neb had a few things to learn from these three young Hebrew men. Nothing he could do or say to them was going to shake their faith. Not even a fiery furnace. Have you been shaken in your faith lately? The gods of this world been trying to force you to bow? Those gods come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. We can find them surrounding us on a daily basis.
I want to have the kind of unshaken faith of these three Hebrew children. They knew their God. They had full trust in Him.
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, "Nebuchadnezzar, we don't need to give you an answer to this question. If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. But even if He does not rescue us we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up."" Daniel 3:16-18
Unshaken faith. This is the faith I desire. This is the walk I want with my Savior. A faith that holds no fear. One that is strong. One that is rooted in hope and trust. No matter what, I believe, kind of faith. It didn't matter if they were thrown in the fire. They knew without a doubt that their God was going to show Himself and His mighty power to this king of pride and disbelief.
"Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with rage, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He gave orders to heat the furnace seven times more than was customary, and he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the furnace of blazing fire. so these men, in their trousers, robes , and head coverings, and other clothes, were tied up and thrown into the furnace of blazing fire. Since the king's command was so urgent and the furnace extremely hot, the raging flames killed those men who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego up. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell, bound, into the furnace of blazing fire." Daniel 3:19-23
Can you imagine the fire? Have you felt the flames? Maybe today you are discouraged and you feel like your walking through the fire. These three young men were not alone and you are not either!
"Then King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm. He said to his advisers, "Didn't we throw three men, bound, into the fire?" "Yes, of course, Your Majesty,"They replied to the king. He exclaimed, "Look! I see four men, not tied, walking around in the fire unharmed; and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."" Daniel 3:24-25
I now see the king shaking in fear. Those gods he has been worshiping don't look so mighty. It doesn't appear that they are going to help him much. The king now sees there is a God bigger than anything he could imagine. A God who is real and powerful beyond all description. I imagine this king didn't think he could learn so much from three Hebrew men who made a choice to stand firm and trust the God who lives before them.
"Nebuchadnezzer then approached the door of the furnace of blazing fire and called: "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God-come out!" So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. When the satraps, prefects, governors, and the king's advisers gathered around, they saw that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men: not a hair of their heads was singed, their robes were unaffected, and there was no smell of fire on them. Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel and rescued His servants who trusted in Him. They violated the king's command and risked their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God." Daniel 3:26-28
Amazing what the testimony of three young men did for this king. They didn't just speak that they believed. They showed their faith in their actions. This is the walk I want to have. I want to bring glory to my Father in all that I do. I want to put the idols down and live only for Him.
Neb makes a proclamation now. He is proclaiming the mighty power of the God of the Hebrews. He has seen what God can do. He has seen what faith can do. Isn't this our hope for those who do not believe? That we might be a light in this dark world of self? That we might be a vessel of hope for an unbelieving world? We are to proclaim Jesus to a world in need. How will the world around us know if we are not willing to face the fire ourselves?
Daniel was part of this amazing group of men. He had his own fires to go through. These three were separate now from Daniel. But they were all together through one amazing God. God was using them all in ways to bring glory to His name. God wants to use you and me. Yes, there may be fires for us to face, but we are never alone! Stand firm in your faith. It just may be your actions that helps to bring another along in their journey of faith.
If your feeling discouraged today spend time in reading Psalm 23. These sweet words will saturate your heart and to fill you with a new strength and peace. Ponder the journey of faith of these four Hebrew men that made a difference by living out their faith for the world to see. We too can make a difference. One step in faith at a time.