Daniel 3

 

Scripture

Daniel 3:28

“Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

‭‭Observation-What does it say?

King Nebuchadnezzar had built a gold statue 90 feet tall and 9 feet wide. The king invited everyone in the land of Babylon to come see the statue he had made. King Nebuchadnezzar declared that when everyone hears the sound of musical instruments playing, they are to all bow to the ground and worship the king’s gold statue. Anyone not in compliance to the king’s command would be immediately thrown into a blazing furnace.

Enter Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three Jewish men refused to bow down and worship any other God but their own (the one true God). King Nebuchadnezzar even called them in to give them one more chance. They still refused to bow down and worship the gold statue.  I love what they tell the king in verses 17-18, “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, Your 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.” Wow!!! Talk about standing your ground and sticking to what you believe in!

This infuriates the king, and he orders the furnace to be heated seven times hotter, and for them to be thrown into the blazing furnace immediately. The furnace was so hot that the soldiers throwing them into the furnace were killed! As Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were in the furnace, the king saw a fourth who was in there with them. To the king’s surprise they were all unharmed! The king knew that the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego rescued them from the blazing furnace. The king called the three men to step out of the furnace. To everyone’s surprise, not a hair on them was singed, their clothes were not even scorched, and they didn’t even smell like smoke! These turn of events caused King Nebuchadnezzar to not only back these three Jewish men, (he promoted them to even higher positions in Babylon), but also he backed their God as the one true God!

Understanding-What does it mean?

Choosing to obey and follow God can lead you into some difficult situations in life, but if you stay true to your faith and your beliefs, you just never know who it may end up saving.

“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew‬ ‭10:22‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had a very difficult decision to make. Either bow down and worship the king’s gold statue, or be thrown into a burning furnace and die an excruciating death. The choice was easy for the three of them. They chose to please the one true God who they knew and loved. They knew what fate awaited them by the choice they made. But they would rather die than offend and displease their God. They knew that their God had the power to save them. They also knew the fate that awaited them if they chose to bow down and worship Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue… and this one also ended up in a burning furnace, but this fiery death would be an eternal one. 

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew‬ ‭10:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Little did they know that their decision to stand their ground, stay strong in their faith, would affect thousands of people! Not only did God rescue them from the burning furnace, but in the process, the thousands of people who witnessed the miracle that day would also believe in their God, and that included King Nebuchadnezzar!

Life Application

As a Christ-follower I must lead a life that would encourage others to follow Jesus.

I know as a Christian my behavior and actions are under a public microscope. The world is just waiting for that very second for me to slip up so that they can say “You hypocrite!” I also understand that being a Christian doesn’t exclude me from life’s difficult circumstances. If anything, it increases my possibilities of heading into them. The key is how I respond to them. Or should I say how God calls me to respond to them. Living a life of faith even when life’s storms are in my way can be difficult, but reading today’s passage is encouraging. You never know how God is planning on using these parts of your life for His glory. All I do know is He is. Whether it’s using them to encourage others how a man of God responds to life’s difficulties, or even using them to perform a miracle in life so God’s power can be revealed. You just never know. All I can do is my part…trust and obey in Him. Look what it did for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. It led King Nebuchadnezzar and the thousands of people of Babylon that day to believe in the one true God of Israel!

 
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-Moses Gaddi