Facing Our Own Fiery Furnace
Most of us learned the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego when we were children. The story goes that King Nebuchadnezzar built a huge golden statue of himself and commanded the people to bow down and worship him. The punishment for not doing this was to be thrown into a huge furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego remained faithful to the one true God and refused to bow before the idol.
(Daniel 3: 16-18) Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."
The king became furious, and demanded that the three be thrown into the fiery furnace, and that the heat be turned up seven times hotter than normal! In fact the heat was so intense that the soldiers who escorted the three to the entrance of the furnace were instantly killed! But, something amazing happened to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They indeed were thrown into the furnace, but no harm came to them. When King Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace he couldn't believe his eyes!
Daniel 3:25 "He answered and said, "But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."
While we don't know if the fourth person standing in the furnace was an angel or a manifestation of Jesus, himself, the important thing is that God provided protection for his faithful servants during their time of need.
Keep in mind that God does not promise us a miracle whenever we are in a tight spot. If that were the case, we wouldn't need to exercise our faith. God would be nothing more than our personal genie.
We all face our own fiery furnace. Our children see us and learn to deal with their own troubles from us. The question is, when we stand in that furnace, knowing full well that the fire could kill us, will we stand firm in our faith? See, the test isn't on God's ability to save us, it's on us, and our desire to please God! Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego can we boldly face the fire, not knowing if we'll be rescued, but still never denying God and His sovereignty in our lives?
Lisa Strnad is an independent contractor in Christian media as a writer, marketing consultant, and public relations specialist. She speaks to Christian women's groups on the issues of motherhood, home schooling and raising a child with special needs. Lisa and her family make their home in Nashville.
To learn more about the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, check out What's in the Bible? Volume 9 here! And for a fun activity, download our Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Coloring Page!