Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.” (Dn 3:16-18)
There are some stories in the Bible that fascinate people much more than others.
As I was growing up – indeed to this very day – one of those stories is the tale of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (And not just because their names are so much fun to say!)
These were three very defiant young men.
They were willing to defy their king because they knew that what the king had proclaimed was wrong, terribly wrong.
The king was promoting idolatry.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that it was wrong to adore anyone or anything other than God. It was at the very heart of their law and they were not willing to destroy themselves just to obey the king.
So they chose the king to whom they would give their fealty. Would it be King Nebuchadnezzar or God?
The choice was easy.
So the king “turned up the heat”, metaphorically. His orders became more and more terse. Still, the three young men would not comply. They would not bow to the idol.
Thus, the king “turned up the heat” quite literally. He ordered his furnace to be stoked, hotter than normal, and threatened to cast the three youths into the furnace if they failed to comply to his law.
Preferring the law of God to the king’s law, they refused, and found themselves tossed in the furnace; but, not before they had a chance to explain their position. They were entrusting themselves to their God and if their God willed to save them, they would be very thankful. If their God willed that they die, they would accept their fate. Their faith and trust in God was complete.
They did not burn up.
Nebuchadnezzar freed the youths and amended his ways. Thus, more than the lives of three young men were saved. An entire nation was touched by the story of faithfulness and trust. I hope that story touches you this day.
FAITH ACTION: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego held to their belief in God, even to the point of being tossed into a white-hot furnace. Has your faith been waning lately? Ask God for the strength you need to follow Him more faithfully.