Gina Caswell Kelly
In the Book of Daniel is the story of the fiery furnace. Three Israelite captives – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were held in prison and were told to start bowning down and worshiping the idols of the Babylonians and deny their own God, Jehovah. They were told to compromise their faith or to die. They were threatened with being placed in a fiery furnace. Still they stood strong in their faith. They, as the old song goes, “would not bend, would not bow, and would not burn.”
They were brought before King Nebuchadnezzer and he asked if it was true that they refused to bow down and worship the idols as they were commanded. They answered in an astounding manner.
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
They were thown into the fiery furnace that had been commanded to be heated up to seven times higher. Expectations were that they would burn before they hit the floor. God had other plans. They were even bound and unable to move.
In a bit, the King asked if they were dead. He was told,”No. They are walking around in the fire, only now there are four men in there and the fourth one looks like the Son of God!” He had them brought out, and the Bible says they were not singed and did not even smell like smoke. The King then decreed that they would be elevated to high positions and nobody better ever say anything against the God of Israel. He said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.”
It is a truly great story. I want to talk about two things in this story. The first is that we see the guys answer the King and say, “Our God is able to deliver us, but even if He does not, He is still our God and we will serve Him.” They knew that things don’t always work the way we want, but that we have to recognize God’s higher plan, and serve Him anyway. Our prayers are certainly not always answered in the manner we wanted, but it is the mark of a mature believer to say, “If not, He is still God.”
The other thing I want to talk about is that God was with them in the fiery furnace. According to scripture, God walked in the fiery furnace with them. Oh, surely you can see where this is going at this point. When we are going through tough times, God is with us. He has sent His Holy Spirit to walk among us in our times of trial and heartbreak. He has sent that One to walk along side us. To hold our hand. To carry us through.
We are coming out of a time where we have seen so much heartbreak and so much fear. We are living in a time of so much unknown and so much instability in what was once secure. We are struggling in so many ways. But oh my goodness! The blessing that is ours as we hold on to Jesus as He walks through the fire with us! He will always see us through. No matter what the issue, hold on to the One who is there with you.
Remember, there is another in the fire. It makes the difference!