Have you ever felt alone? Did you feel abandoned? Were you angry with God because of circumstances that were beyond your control? In Daniel 3, we read how Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon set up a giant golden image and invited the governors, captains, princes, etc…. of the land to the dedication. They all stood before the statue. When the music sounded, all were to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Anyone who didn’t bow down would be cast into the fiery furnace and burned alive. The music sounded, everyone bowed – that is, everyone except the three Hebrew youths, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Nebuchadnezzar brought these three before his throne and asked why they refused his command. Did they not know that anyone who refused would be thrown into the fiery furnace? They answered him saying, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18) Nebuchadnezzar was so angry that they defied him, that he had the furnace heated exceedingly hot. They bound the three Hebrews, and the guards who threw them into the furnace, burned up from the heat of it.
Nebuchadnezzar personally checked to make sure that these rebels burned, but when he looked in the furnace – he didn’t see three people, he saw FOUR! They were walking about in the midst of the fire, unharmed, and the fourth person was like unto the son of God. Nebuchadnezzar quickly had the men drawn up out of the fire. Not only were they unharmed, they weren’t singed in any way. They didn’t even smell like smoke! This made such an impression on the king that he promoted these three and made a decree that anyone speaking against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would be cut into pieces.
Have you ever thought about how God didn’t save the three Hebrews from being thrown into the fire? What He did do – is go into the fire with them! In the same way, sometimes things happen to God’s children today. It may be because we are persecuted for following and teaching the truth. It may be because we live in the world, and other’s actions may set things in motion that cause bad things to happen to us – through no fault of our own. Yes, becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that life will be a bed of roses from now on – what it does mean, is that when we’re in the midst of those fires of pain, we are not alone. God Bless, Courtney