Do you have any idea what it feels like to get “fired” like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? After these men refused to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image, the Babylonian emperor ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter. Then he summoned his finest soldiers to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them inside. To get an idea how hot the furnace was, consider that the heat killed the men who threw the Jewish captives inside.
But it wasn’t over for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They had no sooner fallen headlong into the furnace than they got up and started walking around. The flames had no power over them. And they had company. Onlookers noticed a fourth Man walking in the furnace. It was none other than the Son of God. It was He Who gave deliverance and victory to His servants that day.
From the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we can learn these important lessons:
- These men were persuaded that God was able to deliver them. For them, He was the Ultimate Authority on the outcome of their lives. His will would be done, and they needed only to obey Him.
- God’s action did not alter their stand. Even if He chose not to deliver them, they would obey Him and bow before none other.
- The Lord was with them in the fiery furnace. In their greatest trial, they experienced the greatest time of fellowship with God.
You might be wondering why you have to go through the trial you are facing today. I’m not about to tell you it’s an easy thing to do. But I want to encourage you that had these men never gone through the fiery furnace, they would never have witnessed God’s deliverance and experienced His presence as they had. So it is with you. Keep on trusting and obeying God, and He will see you through your trial. That, my friend, is better than life.
The Lord’s appointments, to those who fear Him, are not only sovereign, but wise and gracious. He has connected their good with His own glory, and is engaged by promise, to make all things work together for their advantage. He chooses for His people better than they could choose for themselves. — John Newton
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.