In our crazy and chaotic world, life is confusing and things just do not “add up.” We find it hard to make sense of life and what is happening around us. The GREAT NEWS is we can be held by Jesus, our anchor in every storm! (Hebrews 6:19) He holds everything together and is unchanging. He makes our life “add up” in Him, creating peace out of turmoil. Thank Him that His authority, power, love, and peace reign supreme today and tomorrow!
Look at Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego captured and held captive by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. (Daniel 3:1-30) The three godly young men had the favor of their captors until it became time to bow down and worship the 90-foot golden statue King Nebuchadnezzar had erected in his own honor. Verse 4-6 shares, “Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command! 5 When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. 6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew they could not bow down to another king or god nor worship a golden statue. They knew their decision to stand for God their Maker, could cost them their lives.
Verse 11-12 says, “That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Could it be you have been thrown into a fiery trial because you stand up for your faith and conviction as a follower of Christ? You can know that you are surrounded by Jesus and His loving presence. His grace is sufficient for anything we will go through! Hallelujah! We need to remember this today.
The three young men were thrown into the blazing fire that was heated seven times hotter than usual, according to the furious rage Nebuchadnezzar had for the once favored and promoted friends. 13 Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”
Have you heard the bully of your soul whispering something similar? …Who will rescue you now? Who is going to help you now? Just know there is “another” in the fire standing next to you! His name is Jesus and He has conquered the grave! He has risen victorious over EVERY devious scheme of the enemy.
The three young men’s response was amazing! They did not cower in fear. They did not make excuses for their stance and worship of our One true God.
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 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. 18 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.” Such courageous faith is shown and spoken respectfully!
The Bible shares there were a fourth person in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Verse 25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” Biblical commentaries suggest it was either pre-incarnate Jesus or an angel sent by God that was protecting the three men in the fire.
Do you know that their clothes did not even hint at smelling like smoke? Vs. 27 “Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched!” Can we count it joy in every trial, battle, and hard day? If so, we will find Jesus in the middle of that wrenching hard moment, in the fire with us!
Verse 28 says something I would not have thought Nebuchadnezzar would say, “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.”
Daniel 5:20-22 tells us what happened to King Nebi after he became arrogant and prideful, forgetting what God had done for him showing him miraculous signs and wonders. “But when his heart and mind were puffed up with arrogance, he was brought down from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. 21 He was driven from human society. He was given the mind of a wild animal, and he lived among the wild donkeys. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven until he learned that the Most High God rules over the kingdoms of the world and appoints anyone he desires to rule over them.”
Eph. 1:11 says, “He chose us in advance, making everything work out according to His plan.” Wow! All praises to God, our Father who loves us, chose us in advance (not on a whim, but thought of you and me in advance!) and will watch over our lives, making certain His plan for us comes to beautiful fruition in spite of our sins and downfalls! He will always accomplish every purpose and plan in His heart for you, bringing you to fulfill your destiny (calling, purpose) in His timing and ways! Let’s be willing, humble, and obedient before Him, lifting up our God, Most High always!
In the end, King Nebi promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon. They chose to worship and serve God over the world and He was the One who ultimately promoted them.
Stay strong my friends! Fix your hope firmly on your anchor, our steadfast and true Savior, Jesus!
Love and joy in the midst of trials,
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