C.F. Leach|Longreads|March 2019|6 minutes (1,832 words)|Conclusion

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 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.”

“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.” Simply said, “We really need not disquiet ourselves with answering the question; because whether God chooses to delivers us or not, we will not bow down to your golden image and that is our final word!” 

To this answer, in a tyrannical rage, Nebuchadnezzar commanded their immediate dispatch into the fiery furnace.

But not before his soldiers heated it up seven times hotter so the flames ascended forty-nine cubits above the mouth of the furnace. The level of heat was intensified as to over-exemplify how their answer kindled the king’s anger. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

They were bound so they could not escape; which was a form of false imprisonment since they were already free. Their decision released them from any earthly thing that could possibly restrict their deliverance. Whether here on earth or in heaven, they would no longer be in the hands of a mortal king.  

Oftentimes the enemy tries to bind us up and further attempts to corner us into believing there is no way out—do not take the bait. God always gives you a way of escape. Your exit strategy could be one that really boggles your mind! Nevertheless, He will give you a way out. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

In this place you cannot let your heart be divided by allowing trouble to distract you from  drawing closer to the Lord.  It is mandatory you return to a place of spiritual protection and power with a single-mindedness and renewed love of God. Never forget a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.

The intensity of the fire burned up the mighty men who threw them in. Yet verse twenty-three begins, And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Why were they not destroyed before they were thrown in the fiery furnace like their executioners? God’s presence was with them even then, but the observers could not yet see Him. God is never recognized—He is always revealed.  

When facing the fiery trials of life you may think you are alone, and you may even feel lonely. But, you can be sure of this one thing; the Master of the oceans, this earth and the heavens is right in the midst of those trials with you!  And this is why verse twenty-four begins… Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, 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”. 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.”

God in the midst of the fire

God revealed himself in the fiery furnace as evidence of His power to the onlookers for a testimony of a miraculous deliverance that was incontestable. Because the LORD was with them; they were able to freely walk in the midst of their circumstances with praise. For it is written, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (I Peter 4:12-13)

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. (Daniel 3:26)

The same king that demanded their demise is now commanding they come out of the very fire he threw them in! And upon their exiting this fiery furnace; every spectator could see the fire had no power over them. The hair on their heads was not singed, their clothes were not burned—neither did the smell of smoke linger upon them. This was not some act of group hypnotism or sleight of hand. The revelation here; they were able to walk out of that fire because while Jesus was in it with them, they also gave Him an offering of righteousness. (Malachi 3:3) What have you offered God lately from the pureness of your heart, in spite of your circumstances? That would touch Him to touch you?

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. 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.

Understand, with all of his earthly power as king; Nebuchadnezzar had to confess “there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” Man must understand the fullness of God’s Sovereignty will always eclipse and overtake the powers they believe they possess. Is it not written: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 54:17) ,,,,and their righteousness is of me in this context means “And their vindication is from Me, declares the LORD.”

Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon. Yes, he gave earthly promotions, but in the midst of their trial was where they received their promotion from God.  True promotions do not come after the trial—-true promotions come during the trial. Because in the fire is where you are tried. I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, “This is My people”; and each one will say, “The Lord is my God.” (Zechariah 13:9)

Take Away

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were committed children of God—they had enough wisdom to realize there are no gray areas when it comes to the word of God or in serving Him.  They were dedicated to the proposition that not all gods were created equal. And that Jehovah Elyon was endowed with the power to deliver anyone from anything. On this one subject they agreed; which made possible the scripture: In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Corinthians 13:1)

The way of the LORD was their lifestyle long before they had to make such an earth shaking decision.

Is it not written “He that is not with me is against me and he that not gathereth with me scattereth -abroad.” Simply put, there is no compromise when it comes to going against God’s word.  You cannot be like Switzerland and remain neutral.

There is no impartiality when it comes to sin. Either you love what God loves and hates what he hates or you don’t! God is love and he loves everyone, but he hates their sins. [The] Lord does not delay his promise, as some account of delay, but is longsuffering towards you, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Those three young men never compromised their position despite the inherent danger that lay ahead. Even when twice tempted; their trust remained totally and explicitly in God. They refused to allow the traditions of men to swallow them up. Nor did their positions of authority blind the decision they made.

Therefore, they did not lose focus on the faithfulness of God. This allowed them to stand in a position of divine order instead of chaos and fear. Standing brought them to a place of greater faith and trust in all things pertaining to God’s Sovereignty.  They were able to maintain courage and stand on the righteous principles of God’s word. This action set into motion the upholding of their spiritual integrity, which allowed them to escape the deceptions and temptations of the enemy.

Righteousness and faith are the key elements that sustain you as you walk through this fire.

With God in the fire with you; you will go through the trial and come out on the other side more precious than gold!

During the promotion process, you have to be able to stand in the midst of adverse circumstances; with a surety that God is with you no matter what you face! You cannot become confused nor have character problems when God puts you to the test. This will require a clean heart and stedfast spirit. (Psalm 51:10)

There is a saying, “If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen”. But sometimes you have to take ‘the heat’ and not get out!  For in that place the impurities of men’s souls are burned away for the glory of God. To bring forth pure righteousness and a new mantle that is no longer tainted with religious atrophy, but anointed with the Spirit of the living God.

Therefore, you should take the condition of your soul and spirit very seriously and make necessary corrections to achieve the best possible outcome.  Right here you will break through the darkness of your spirit and soul. Your future depends on it! The requisite is to be completely done with the spirits of fear, anger and hate. Righteousness must prevail at all costs. Here your prayer should be “O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” (Isaiah 25:1)

Then like the three crucibles; you will be able to stand in the midst of the fire with clean hands, a pure heart and a soul not lifted up to vanity—Stepping out of your furnace of trials into a future in God that He might be glorified! And with an added bonus; a promotion you never dreamed possible!

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