The Blazing Fiery Furnace
While having my quiet time this morning, I was moved to go back to my journal entry exactly a year ago. This is what I’ve found along with the tug that it is now time to share it with you. (But to understand this better, you might want to reflect first on the book of Daniel chapter 3.)
“Daniel 3 — One of the most powerful testimonies in the Bible when God saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the blazing fiery furnace.
I saw some points:
- It is easy to fall down if you don’t know what you’re standing for.
Many people from many nations and many tounges bow down just because the king ordered it. But the jews did not because they know God and they know they are His.
- God is holding the jew’s hearts.
They took great faith and courage in standing up for God but more than that, it is God’s love that drove them to stand up. The love of the LORD is the greatest driving force of a big faith!
- God intimately loves us!
If you were thrown into the fire, either prepared to be rescued or die, but then you see the son of God with you so you’d have no harm, how would it feel? It was such an intimate moment wherein a God came down and made fire powerless just so He could save those who love Him!
It’s not only the jews who stood up for God. God stood up for the jews when He revealed Himself as ‘God who saves’ in the presence of many witnesses.”
And today, as I reread the chapter, I still got amazed by this powerful testimony. All the more, it is humbling as He revealed more truth from the very same chapter I read a year ago. Let me share with you some of it:
- What King Nebuchadnezzar ordered was forced worship. The people worshiped the golden image he had set up out of fear — which the LORD never wanted us to do pertaining to our worship to Him. The LORD gave us the ability to choose whether to follow Him or not because what He wants is a genuine worship — a praise from a decided heart.
What’s inside your heart? What have you chosen? Is it something that can never be taken away from you — a relationship with God?
- I am afraid some of those who fell down and worshiped the golden image didn’t know and didn’t hear about God — the living God.
How many people will you let fall and bow down to worthless idols or carved images just because they haven’t heard of God?
- Power, authority and fame ate up Nebuchadnezzar. He might have been too full of himself by that time. He let evil flow in his heart that it made him set up an image and commanded the people to worship it. Now what’s funny is, in verse 15, he kind of gave a ‘second chance’ to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to bow down and worship his god. Second chances from the enemy might be funny — but it’s real. The enemy will tempt you over and over again just so he could win you. You must be firm as you hold on to your strong foundation — the Rock that is Jesus. Also in this verse, Nebuchadnezzar stated, “And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” This only shows the fact that the less knowledge of God, the less faith and belief that you will have.
- Now this is my favorite part a year ago and even up until now. I like the NIV version wherein the three said to the king in verse 17–18:
“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. 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.”
Even if He does not.
Even if He does not.
Even if He does not.
Talk about heart. Talk about faithfulness. This phrase melts my heart. Is your faith as big as the faith of these three? That even if He won’t show up, you will still be willing to die for His name? What about if He’s not answering your prayers? Will you still believe in Him?
Let me end up with this. Miracles have purposes and it is to tell of ONE thing: so that we will know HE IS GOD.
Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:28–30 ESV)