In Daniel chapter 3, is the story of the three young men Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and their brush with the fiery furnace. These young men had been through a lot. Back in chapter 1 we read how they were ripped from their home in Jerusalem, at a young age, when the King of Babylon raided and destroyed their city. They were marched as prisoners across the desert and held against their will in the palace, along with Daniel and other young men who were selected to learn the Babylonian culture. They were to be trained and educated in this new society. They were given new names, and basically in a failed attempt, the King of Babylon tried to brainwash them. He wanted them to turn their back on their God, The God of Heaven. But Daniel and the three stood their ground, refusing to eat from the King’s table and resisting the attempts of the court officials. The Bible tells us they resolved themselves not to be defiled.
Now in chapter 3 we find these three men still held on to a strong resolve. They were bold in their faith. They would not deny their God, no matter what the cost. King Nebuchadnezzar made a proclamation to the whole country in front of all the officials he had summoned together. Each and every person was to bow to his newly erected statue of gold or burn in the furnace. And in no way, shape or form would he stand for it when these men would defy his order.
The three were called out after they were the only people in the crowd left standing on their feet. Everyone else was face down on their knees worshipping the statue. So the King ordered them to be brought before him. He gave them one last chance to concede, but they stood tall and strong and still refused to bow. Here’s what they said, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
The King was not too happy and ordered the furnace be cranked up; 7 times hotter than usual. I can’t imagine how those young men must have felt at this moment. But if you think about it, this just makes God’s miracle that much bigger! He also ordered the strongest soldiers in his army to tie them up. I believe God wanted us to know this detail. He specifically told us it was the strongest soldiers so that we would see that it doesn’t matter how big our problem is, how big our stronghold is or how big the issue is we are wrestling with. God has a plan. If you feel like you are about to be heading into a fiery furnace don’t panic. If you are in a fiery furnace right at this moment DO NOT GIVE UP!!! God has a plan. You may not be able to see what He is doing, but He is working things out and you are about to see His plan unfold. You are about to be rescued!!!
In verse 21, Daniel records how these three friends had on all their clothes, their turbans, pants and robes. Again, I believe God makes sure we know these details because of what we are going to learn after they come out of the blaze……. But first let’s check out the furnace. While still bound they were thrown in the furnace. Remember it’s 7 times hotter than usual. But when the King observed them inside the furnace they were untied, and unharmed. And there was not only 3 but 4 men; the King himself saw the fourth man. Why was Jesus in there with them? Because He is always with us. It doesn’t matter if we are in a pit, in a fiery furnace, in a Den of Lion’s, in the midst of an illness, a death or any other difficult or trying time in our life; Jesus, the Lover of our Soul is always by our side.
Now back to the clothes. When they came out of the furnace they were not burned they were not scorched and they did not have the smell of fire on them. Hallelujah!!! God showed us that they were fully dressed so that we can see how large this miracle is. If they had only been wearing a small covering the proof of God’s protection would not have been as evident; there was not even the smell of smoke; right down to their turbans. And because of their faithfulness and trust in the God of heaven this is what happened with the King.
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.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:29-30)
If your problem is overwhelming and your furnace is hot, do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Stand in your faith like these 3 young men; who knew that no matter what, they would refuse to back down. They refused to kneel down. They stood out in the crowd. Although every other person fell to their knees, these 3 stood strong and confident. They believed that no matter how our Lord chose to work this out, it was His decision and for His glory!!!
Do you trust God to work out your furnace issues in His way?
Sometimes God allows us to walk through a fiery furnace without feeling any heat. But other times the flames are hot and we’re surrounded. Our mindset has to be in that place of surrender. The same place Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found themselves right after they were brought before the King. A place of trusting God with whatever outcome occurs. The lyrics from the new Mercy Me song play over in my mind when I think about these seasons of life.
I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
A little faith is all I have right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul
When the fires of life test and refine us, we must cling to Jesus, our Hope, and believe that He is with us and no matter what happens, He will NEVER leave our side!!!
Cindy Montgomery, New Beginnings Outreach Ministries