The following devotional is the fourth in a short series focusing on Daniel 3: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace.
"Then Nebuchadnezzar said, 'Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! . . . Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.'" (Dan 3:28,29)
When our story starts in the first verses of this chapter, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon has just set up a golden image and has just commanded everyone to bow and worship it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to do so, proclaiming to the king that there is only One God, the God of Heaven. But the king doesn't listen. The words of the three Hebrews only serve to send him into a rage. He orders the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than ever, and he orders that these three "defiants" be thrown in! The furnace is so hot that even the guards who throw them in are instantly killed! But to the amazement of King Nebuchadnezzar, the fire does not kill the men! It burns off their bonds, but it doesn't even singe their hair or their clothing! And moments later, these same men walk safely out of the fiery furnace not even smelling like smoke!
How does Nebuchadnezzar respond? This same man who only moments before gave the order for ALL of Babylon to bow down to the image on the plane, now says: "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! . . . Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way"!
Not only did Nebuchadnezzar change his mind, but he ordered everyone in the kingdom to honor God as well!
What was it that changed Nebuchadnezzar's mind??? It was seeing how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stand firm in their faith, and then seeing how the One True God honored that faith!
My friends, when we walk through the fire of trials and tribulations, the world watches! Our best witness is our faith! When the world sees how our faith is rewarded, God is glorified, and others begin to glorify God's Holy name! Sometimes this just changes the life of one. But, just as in the days of Shadrach, Mechach and Abednego, sometimes witnessing our faith in God will change the hearts of many!
So the next time you find yourself faced with a "fiery furnace" experience, stand firm in your faith! God WILL honor your faith, and He will use this entire situation to bring others to Him!
Please see Sunday's edition of The Illustrator for part 5
Love in Christ,