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February 16, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“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 3:17–18 (NIV)
I truly believe there is nothing else like this interaction in recorded history. This event stands out amongst the endless sea of powerful stories and biblical accounts, and the only words I could think of to describe it are faith, trust, and devotion.
In our passage, we see the continuation of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s exchange with King Nebuchadnezzar. After being given a second chance to bow down before the golden idol, and being warned that failure to do so would result in an agonizing death, we see these young men respond by making it clear they’d never bow down before the statue and declaring in faith the God they serve would save them.
But they didn’t stop there. After declaring God would deliver them from the fiery jaws of death, they took it to another level by saying, “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.” Wow! We believe God is able to save us, but even if He doesn’t, we still won’t forsake Him. Why? Because He is God. And being God, the same God who loves us with an everlasting love, who delivered His people from Egypt and established an everlasting covenant with them, if He had allowed these men to be thrown in the furnace, it would have been for their good and His glory!
You see, these young men understood that God’s will and plan for our lives is infinitely greater and more beneficial than what we could ever envision for ourselves. I guarantee you that Shadrach didn’t wake up that morning envisioning or anticipating being killed. Meshach likely hadn’t planned on that being his last day on earth. Abednego’s plan for his own life probably didn’t involve being burned alive. But their plan, and our plan, must always be about walking in God’s plan and God’s will for us. This means we must be faithful and obedient, no matter the earthly cost.
Like these men, we must trust that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). Sometimes, that looks like being delivered from the furnace; sometimes it looks like being consumed by the flames and going to be with our Father. But what it doesn’t look like is compromising to gain the world and lose our souls.
So today, I invite you to ask yourself if you’re truly walking in faith and obedience, trusting that God’s plan and purposes are for your good, no matter what the circumstances in front of you may look like.
DIG: Why do you believe that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were so willing to endure the flames of the furnace?
DISCOVER: What would it look like in your life to have the kind of faith, devotion, and trust that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did? Why is it so difficult for us to walk in it?
DO: Read Romans 8:18, 2 Corinthians 4:17, Titus 2:11–14, and 1 Peter 4:13.