This morning, I was thinking about the scriptures verses in Daniel. When Daniel’s friends were put in the fiery furnace, they did not know what would happen to them. They knew that they were being put to death. Who survives a fiery furnace? Their faith was steadfast and did not waiver.
They answered to God, most high. They did not concern themselves with the king’s ego or demands. They only cared about doing the right thing for God, at all costs. They would not serve other gods, nor a gold image. As they faced death, they gave their situation to God. They were so intensely faithful, that the outcome of their lives or deaths did not matter. They were concerned only with serving God.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
–Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV)
God did save them. The important part of these scripture verses is that Daniel’s friends would have been content either way. Why? They put their faith in God and wanted to do God’s will with all their hearts. God mattered to them more than what they saw with their eyes.
Nebuchadnezzar Praises God
Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
–Daniel 3:26-27 (NKJV)
The king called Daniel’s friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego out of the fiery furnace. They gathered around them and saw that “the fire had no power” over these men. Not one hair on their heads were singed. Not a thread on their clothes was burnt. They did not even have the smell of fire on them.
They trusted in God, not what they saw in front of them. God went with them through the fiery furnace. God not only saved them, he used this situation for his good works. God walked with them through the fiery furnace and brought them out untouched. Those who witnessed this miracle became believers. God turned a death sentence into redemption. God saved Daniel’s friends, and in turn the king became a believer.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!
–Daniel 3:28 (NKJV)
I have read these verses many times. This morning, I thought about them in a different way. When we are so focused on doing God’s will, we are in the right place. Have you ever been in a situation where you were ready to go into the “fire”? I was. Instead of trying to get out of it, I prayed to God. I didn’t ask for a way out. I didn’t even consider a way out. Instead, I prayed and asked God to help me endure it. I prayed for the people involved. I prayed for protection. I prayed to do God’s will, even though I knew it would difficult. It came as a great surprise, when God gave me a way out. It was no longer a possibility to have to participate in this situation. It was the jumping up and down type of feeling, that I experienced with pure joy in my heart.
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.”
–Daniel 2:20 (NKJV)
I realized that when God’s way is the only option, only goodness awaits you. When you trust in God, even fire has no power to harm you.