Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

21-Day Prayer/Fast – Day 17

Daniel 3:17-18

17 “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

01032015 RayToday we read one of the most fascinating stories in the Bible.  If we were churched as children – we probably heard this one in Sunday School.  It is the story about Shadrach – Meshach – and Abednego – and the fiery furnace.  Do you remember the story?

Daniel and our three stars of today’s story were part of a group of Israelites taken captive by a conquering nation.  They were part of the cream of the crop so to speak and had found God’s favor even in the foreign land.  Let’s look at the story today.

King Nebuchadnezzar made a large statue in his own honor – Daniel 3:1 – King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.  He was convinced that anyone who didn’t bow to his statue should be killed by some corrupt officials who didn’t like our young fellows.  They then reported that the boys didn’t bow to the statue (because of their faith and only bowing to God).  Daniel 3:13-15 – 13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

fiery-furnaceThe boys responded to the king’s words – knowing that they could pay for their faithfulness to God with these words. Daniel 3:16-18 – 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

The boys were taken to the fiery furnace and of course we know the story – God delivered them for being faithful to Him.  Daniel 3:19-27 – 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24 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, O king.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

Is God amazing or what?  As we continue with our 21-Day Prayer/Fast – have we stood up for Jesus?  Have we faced hard times for Him?  Have we seen God’s deliverance?  Have we sought after His face?  I love this story – it reminds me of how awesome our God is – and His love for us is beyond measure!  The God we serve is able to do all things!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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January 21, 2015 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, Fast, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , ,

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