by Christina Farris
1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
3 Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
8 Wherefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and accused the Jews.
9 They spake and said to the king Nebuchadnezzar, O king, live for ever.
10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire.
27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon. There are times in one's life you feel like you are going through the fire. The things in life journey feels like the pit of hell. Yet we become overcomers when we pray, and God delivers. Trusting God as one is being tossed in the fire, is only half the battle. I know when I was hit by train, I cried Jesus you can stop that train. It was going fifty miles and hour and yes it stop, but prayer is one of those things it wise to be a little more specific when you pray, for the train stop way down the track. I wonder what Sharach Meshach and Abednego prayed as they were forced into the fiery furnace. What was going through their mind. When you stand with faith, somethings must be under the anointing of God. Nebuchadnezzar build this statue of stone that he seen in a dream because he understood it represented power of his kingdom. Yet he still recognized a God greater then himself. God would force him to bow once more to him and the king would declare the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego was to be worshipped.
When it takes loosing your friends almost to the work of your evil plot to get glory, will you then surrender to the God that proves himself by protecting his people? Jews since the time of Christ have gone under heavy persecution along with Christians, and some have died because of persecution and not necessarily a lack of faith. Christ would die on the cross and yet he would arise once more. Christ would bring forth Lazarus from the tomb by calling him forth to rise as example of his own resurrection to come. To believe so readily that if death consumes, that a resurrection still would occur in God's timing, that takes faith. It can not be dismissed. Yet Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego experienced no resurrection, they came forth from the fiery furnance unharmed. The forth man in the flames was spoken of no more, but he is seen as being Christ before his human birth. The Word of God being the forth man in the fire, a visible entity. The fourth man in the fire did not appear to come out of the flames with them, but nothing more is said about the fourth man. For the king is only to ready to bless them, because of their God's protection, though he had been angry with them because of their disobedience. He expected their loyalty to be such they would obey him without repentance.
Loyalty only goes so far when it is between family, friends and government and often in that order. Yet loyalty is often broken over the simplest infractions, because of not understanding, misconception or not understanding the rules of engagement. Can these things be fixed, I suspect so. For Shadrach, Meshrach and Abednego showed no disloyalty to the king for being thrown into the fire. The only help the King to understand the power of their God by their loyalty. After all the obey the king by going intot he fiery furnance, they could of escape for it killed those taking them into the pit.
President Trump is a three party candidate whether we fully grasp it, where is loyalty broken by President Trump, with Republicans, Democrats or independents. I have no clue, how one manages to be part of both parties, switch and return is yet a mystery. Yet I understand how one can be a part of one nation and not always in agreement but obedience to the law of the land until something changes. Our nation allows protesting, marching, and stand up for one rights. An individual alone besides a group has rights as well to speak up for their own rights. Yet there is point to my madness this morning, Shadrach, Meshrach and Abednego was only loyal to their God not their government, and by being loyal to their God it allowed them to work within the loyalty of their government until it went against their faith in God. I do not doubt these three survivors of persecution did feel the heat, and even the blast of heat as they went into the fire, but I bet also they felt the Spirit of God's power who protected them in the blaze. Others are burnt up and destroyed as they even toss the three into that fire. Loyalty to the king was greater then their common sense not to go into the heat. Lemmings are said to just follow the leader over the cliff if something is chasing them. Yet no one ask if they had the power to return the answer is no. Is your loyalty to God greater then your loyalty to your family, friends and even government. We all cry in pain, but do we surrender to the one that can controll the torment for relief, do we trust God to deliver and protect us. Shadrach, Meshrach and Abednego if they had time to think it out would they had bowed to the idol, probably not.
The issue is clear loyalt is often to the highest one in the land that can protect you. God is the highest in the land that can protect you and he gave reassurrance of his protection through his Son Jesus. Jesus has been protecting people for over 2000 years, His name being as it is the most powerful name in our land. One day He will return in honor of His Father's will, to destroy the enemy and to protect his followers during the final judgment of the heavens and the earth, the final judgment flames can not hurt a believer, nor will it destroy a believer. This is a fire from God not from man. A fire that only God can build that will destroy the entire earth and heaven only for God to recreate as a new heaven and new earth.
Nebuchadnezzar seen the power of God and bowed, but did not surrender his desire to be God. Are you willing to be loyal to the God that created heaven and earth, to the God that redeem you through His Son payment for sin. Are you willing to be loyal to a God of protection in the storm. God is merciful to his children. More merciful then we deserve. Become a child of God today. Read the how to be save portion of this website and get saved today asking Jesus to be lord of your life today. Nebuchadnezzar would not torment Shadrach, Meshadrach and Abednego anymore, only Daniel himself had one more battle to be overcomer.
One more thing God allows testing from the enemy only to stop those darts from damaging us, those darts will not remain, for God wants to settle you and enable you to be all you can be in your life. All we got to do is hold onto our faith, know God is going to protect and deliver, if He choose he take you completely out of the flames of the enemy by taking you home with him.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for demonstrating your power through the Old Testament to the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. May your power reign in the hearts and mind of the believer as they trust willingly to whatever comes to them in this life time. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:
1 Peter 5:9-10 KJV 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.