Friday, March 2, 2018

Four Men in the Fire


“So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.  The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”  They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,  and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

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.” – Daniel 3:21-29


I believe God is in control of everything.  I believe He is almighty.  I believe He keeps all kinds of evil on a short leash.  I believe that the things that happen in this world are either ordained by Him, or allowed by Him, as in the life of Job.    

He could have easily saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fire.  He could have put out the fire, but He didn’t.  He could have pulled them up into a chariot as He did Elijah.  He could have sent an army of angels to close up the furnace. But He did not.

Instead, He allowed those that threw them into the fire to die from the flames, proving it was hot enough to kill, and then let His three children be thrown into the fire like yesterday’s trash.    

Instead of preventing the fire, which would not have even made the Babylonian Times paper of the day, He chose to go through it with them. There were four men, walking around in the fire. FOUR!  Think about that. 

What did it do for the faith of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  They had tremendous faith already.  They told Nebuchadnezzar that even if God did not deliver them from the fire, they would not serve his gods or worship his images of gold.  How do you think they responded when they saw the Son of God, man number four, in the fire with them?  Friends, I doubt anything later on in their life could have caused their faith to be diminished.  In fact, I think it grew even greater. 

What did that do to the faith of Nebuchadnezzar?  I can tell you what it did!  It converted him!  He became a believer!

Friends, struggles and trials are meant to draw us to Him, and draw others.  If live was a cakewalk, we’d never pray, never cry out, never see our need for a Father that will go through the fire with us.  And no, God doesn’t give the toughest struggles to the toughest of His children.  He treats us all equally.  It’s not about you and what you can take, it’s about you reaching out to Him.    

The struggle isn’t about our persecution.  It’s about how we walk through them.  It’s about a God that wants us to draw closer and closer and closer to Him until we can see Him in the fire.  It’s about who learns from our struggles what a great God we serve.  It’s about Him.  It’s about His love for mankind.

God still walks through the fires with us.  Sometimes He pulls us through without even the smell of smoke. Sometimes He chooses to let us bear a burden to show others how strong our faith is. 

If you’re in the fire, look around.  He is there.  He will never forsake His children (Joshua 1:5).  He is always there.   

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