I have always loved the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. It is probably the first Bible story I remember learning because I wanted to tell it to everyone. However, if you know my testimony, then you know this was just a cool story for me to tell – it had no meaning to me. But as a believer and the more I study, the more it comes to life for me. I learn something new about my God and what He does for me every single time! Something new always jumps out!
Today as I was reading Daniel 3:19-30, I noticed the word ‘fell‘ in verse 23. Earlier in chapter three we read where King Nebuchadnezzar ordered for them to be cast into the fire because they refused to bow to his statue. But guess what? God was already on the scene BEFORE He was seen in the fire with them.
The word ‘cast’ in the Hebrew language means ‘to throw’. In order for three men who had been ‘bound in their cloaks, their hats and their other garments‘ (v. 21) to be thrown into a fiery furnace, it would take some major force. And without them being able to brace for the impact, most likely they would break some bones. But God had other plans.
Out of King Neb’s own fury, he ordered for the furnace to be heated up seven times hotter than normal. The furnace was so hot that the fire and heat consumed the men who were ordered to throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into it. It killed them from outside of the furnace! So what about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? We see two things happen. First, notice that they were not consumed with the heat & fire like the other men just were and second, they were not forcefully thrown into the furnace. They fell into it themselves – on their own!!!!
When they refused to bow, they told King Neb their God was going to take care of them and just as they said, God was already protecting them before they ever hit the flames.
After they fell into the fire, God makes His presence visibly known. It is not three men that are seen but instead four and all four are seen walking in the fire. Do you see that? Only three were seen falling in and they were tied up (I don’t think tied up people can just get up and walk around). But what does King Neb and the others see — four men up walking around, not being consumed with the fire!!!! When they fell into the fire, Jesus went right with them, took them out of their bondage, walked with them in the midst of that fire and delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from being burned up!!!
And the glory of God was seen by all.
Approximately 600 years or so later, another man – JESUS – willing went to a wooden cross meant for pain and death so that God’s glory could be seen and a plan of deliverance was set in place for all!
Today I can trust that no matter what I face, I do not have to be afraid. The enemy will try to bind me up and he definitely stokes the fire to make the flames hotter. But because of Jesus, I can freely walk in the midst of the fire without fear of being consumed. I know I will not be harmed in anyway and as long as I am trusting the One who freely gave His life for me, then I don’t have to worry about even smelling like the fire.