Remember King Nebuchadnezzar? He’s the one who makes a 90-foot-tall golden statue and commands that everyone bow down to it. But three young men—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—balk at the order. Furious, King Nebuchadnezzar threatens them.
“If you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:15b)
They answer, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18, emphasis mine)
I admire their stand: while they trust their lives to God, they don’t presume that He will rescue them.
When they still refuse to bow down, King Nebuchadnezzar has them thrown into the fire. Astounded at what happens, he checks with his officials. “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They reply, “Certainly, O king.” He says, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” (Daniel 3:24-25)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego must have been so scared—after all, they were only human. But when God goes into the furnace with them, looses their bonds, and walks around with them, showing they’re alive and well, they must have been exuberant—and incredibly grateful.
All the king’s men gather around Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, amazed that “the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them. (Daniel 3:27)
I like the detail of this verse. No hint they were even close to a fire!
Today, we also get to read Job’s famous declaration:
“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God.” (Job 19:25-16)
From November readings for Days 21, 22, and 23
Daniel 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
Job 19, 20, and 21:1-21
John 12:37-50, 13:1-11, and 13:12-17
II John 1-13, III John 1-14, and Jude 1-7