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July 5, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, ‘Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, Your Majesty.’”—Daniel 3:24 (NIV)
Have you ever leapt to your feet? I know I have. If I’m being honest, most, if not all, of my leaping instances have come while watching sports. Sometimes, it’s been out of indignation after a bad call in a big moment. Sometimes, it’s been out of excitement for a clutch shot or a game-tying home run. And sometimes, it’s been out of sheer amazement for an awesome play, spectacular catch, or an out-of-this-world dunk!
People are often moved to amazement when they see something they’ve never seen before. So, imagine yourself for a second in the shoes of King Nebuchadnezzar. One second, you’re so intensely angry that your rage matches the fire coming from the furnace. Why? Because three of your servants have refused to obey your command and bow down before your idol; and worse, they essentially questioned your power in front of everyone! And the next second, you see the same three men you just threw into a blazing hot furnace not only alive, but completely unharmed and not alone!
One second, you’re pridefully saying, “What god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” The next you’re leaping to your feet and saying in amazement, "Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the fire?" Honestly, I doubt there would have been much that would have caused this kind of reaction from a king who likely had everything he wanted and had seen pretty much everything there is to see in this world. But in this moment, he saw something, or more accurately Someone, he had never seen.
You see, as believers, we may find ourselves in some fiery situations. For some, it’s literally life or death persecution because of their belief in Jesus. All around the world this happens, even now. For the majority of others, the fiery furnace is societal and personal persecution. Whether it’s a refusal to figuratively kneel before worldly, sinful idols or standing firmly upon biblical truths and values, more and more we are faced with the fires of cultural persecution.
And just like with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, no matter what fire we face, no matter how hot the flames may be, no matter the rage of the persecutors, if we walk with conviction and live out biblical truth and show the character of Christ through our words and actions, God can use our lives to cause our persecutors and all those who are watching to leap to their feet in amazement of the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
DIG: Describe a time where you were driven to amazement.
DISCOVER: How have you seen the Lord work as He did here with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in your life or in the lives of others around you?
DO: If you’re walking into a fiery circumstance right now, pray and ask the same Christ who was in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be with you. He is faithful and He will show up!