Summary: There's part of this story of the fiery furnace that I'd always missed. There was one question upon which everything else hinged - not only in this story but also in our lives. Do you know what that question is?
When my sister Barbranne was in her early 20’s she left the Church and Jesus behind and went off to live the “wild life.” At age 55 she decided she’d hurt herself in that decision and started going back to church. One of the first things she did was to buy a Children’s Bible because she wanted to reacquaint herself with some of the basic stories she’d learned as a youth.
This morning, instead of reading the text from Scripture (as we usually do) I want to read you the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from a Children’s Bible. You should be able to follow along in your Bible because this Children’s story follows very closely with the verses out of your Bible.
(I had taken the story from http://www.dltk-bible.com/cv/three_faithful_men-cv.htm and printed and pasted the words into a Children’s Bible we had in the church library. I did minor alterations to the story including changing their reference to the 4th man in the fire - which they identified as an angel - to say "like the Son of God." I sat on a stool and began reading the story to the audience as I would if I were reading it to little children).
ILLUS: A representative of the gas company phoned the owner of an expensive new home to make an appointment for the service man to come in and light the gas pilots and adjust the furnace.
The owner of the home said he's better meet the workman, or he'd never get the furnace going.
The gas company rep insisted that his people were well trained and would have no trouble.
The owner said, “You don't understand. When your man tries to adjust the furnace he'll go out of his mind. The thermostat in the entry hall is a dummy for my wife to play with.
Only I know where the real one is hidden.
(Reader’s Digest, December 1973)
The owner of the house knew where the thermostat was
Warren Wiersbe once noted that “when God permits his children to go through the furnace, He keeps his eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat.” That was another of saying that is that God knows where the real thermostat is hidden.
The story we’ve read this morning is one of the best known in Scripture. Every child who’s ever been to Sunday school knows the story by heart and it is included in every Children’s Bible story book I’ve ever seen. And - of course – being a preacher I KNOW all about that story… except for the part I’m going to tell you about this morning. There’s something in this story I didn’t catch before. But before we get to that, there’s few thing I think we need to deal with.
1st this is a real story. It’s not made up. It really happened. Now how do I know that? Well, (for one thing) I trust God. And I trust God to take care of His book and He wouldn’t allow us to be misled by some made-up story. If it’s in the book… it happened. God would NOT let us buy into lies
Now, just as an example, we read about this HUGE statue. It’s about 90 feet tall – that’s about 8 stories. And it’s a golden image. Really? That’s kinda hard to believe!!! That’s an awful lot of gold, and something that big would certainly just topple over and fall on its face.