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15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3: 15-18 NIV
The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is often told focusing on the part where they’re thrown into the fire. And we’ll get to that. But I think it’s important not to miss the posture of their hearts before they ever went into the fire. You see, our attitudes, the way we view God, determines our experience of the fire. We all have fires in our lives. Challenging times that come to test what we truly believe. And if we go into the fire or the trial, uncertain in our faith, we could be tempted to forget the awesome God we serve. To forget His power and might. His goodness and grace.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were told that if they didn’t worship the king, they would be thrown into the fire. The fire – the trial – the challenge – the trying time – is a war for our worship. We can choose to bow before our problems in defeat. Or we can choose to stand firm and declare our faith in God. The problems loom large boasting of their strength. But we must be secure in the God we serve. Knowing that His power is greater than any fire. The enemy wants us to cower in fear at the mere mention of the fire. Because he knows that if we enter the fire in fear, we are sure to be consumed.
These Hebrew young men knew that they didn’t need to try to defend themselves against the king. They didn’t try to take matters into their own hands. Act in their own strength. Or even bargain their way out of trouble. They knew that God would defend them. So when we’re faced with trouble, the first thing to remember is that God will defend us. We don’t need to – nor can we – defend ourselves. God is the only One capable of rescuing us in times of trouble. And He has plans for our good, no matter how frightening the situation looks.
The next thing to remember is that God is able. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it…”. When trouble comes, it’s so important that we declare just like these three, that God is able to deliver us. We have to know that. Believe that. Stand firm in that.
Most importantly we must maintain the position that though God has the ability to deliver us from trouble, if He does not, we will not give in to fear and doubt. We will not bow before our problem and begin to declare its strength in our lives. We have to purpose in our hearts to trust God before trouble comes. We can’t wait until we’re facing the fire to decide what we believe. Our hope must be firmly in God. So that we’re able to withstand the heat of the fire, whether we see God’s Hand of Deliverance or not. Too many of us wait to see how God will rescue us before we declare our faith. We attach our declaration of faith to whether God does as we see fit. But where is the faith in that? These three Hebrew young men were yielded to God’s sovereignty and trusted His goodness. We too must come to this place, where we acknowledge that God in His sovereignty can decide to allow us to go through the fire. But if we trust His goodness, we won’t fear. Because we know His heart towards us is good. And that no matter how mighty the fire, we serve the Almighty God of All.
Love & Blessings,