Summary: As believers we must learn to rejoice even while going through, trusting the Word that the fire is meant to refine you.
Here we find a particular passage of scripture that we all have at some point heard the story of the 3 hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. Again I like to reiterate that the stories of the bible are real & true not just fairytales.
In this particular passage what has happened is this. King Nebuchadnezzar is having some concerns with his male ego. You see in chapter two of this same book Daniel interpreted a dream that the king had regarding a great image/statue that was destroyed & Daniel told the king that he (Nebuchadnezzar) was the head of that statue which was made of gold. Nebuchadnezzar decided he was satisfied being just the head of that statue he wanted to be the entire statue. King Nebuchadnezzar therefore had a image built a huge image about 90 feet tall & 9 feet wide. King Nebuchadnezzar then gathered the political leaders & made a decree that he want carried out. He said whenever the music plays everyone is to bow down & worship this great image. Now when Daniel interpreted the Kings dream Nebuchadnezzar was so pleased that he made Daniel the Governor of Babylon & Daniel in turn requested that his friends shadrach, Meshach & Abednego be promoted as well & that request was granted. So these young men in essence were now in good with the king. Understand that they were however foreigners in this land so they had what we’d call today, “some haters”. You see these young men were servants of the one true God & they knew that according to the law of Moses “thou shalt not have any gods before me” & so they refused to bow. So these haters went to the king & decided to tattletale. They weren’t going by the rule that exist today, “snitches get stitches”. They went to the King & said, sir didn’t you say that when the music plays everyone is supposed to bow down & worship your image, well your homeboys aren’t bowing. King Nebuchadnezzar not one to be embarrassed especially not in front of his political buddies & surely not by these guys he’s considered to be his friends now, he tries to give them a chance to explain themselves, bring them to me. Did you not hear the command I gave, what is this I hear about you not bowing, I know that can’t be true. He decides to tell these boys, look you gone bow or you gone burn. Then who is this God that will deliver you. If you remember the story you know they told the King “look, we not gonna bow, we’re not even going to answer your question. Our God is able to deliver us BUT even if he doesn’t we’re not going to bow down to worship your god”. King Nebuchadnezzar in all of his fury demands the furnace to be heated as hot as possible, & tossed the boys in there, the furnace was so hot that the guards that tossed them in the furnace was burned. and so we are here at our text today.
Shadrach, Meshach & Abbednego are in this fiery furnace, the king & his political boys are all standing by watching, The king looks into the mouth of the furnace & sees something strange. I imagine if he wore glasses he probably took them off & cleaned them. He said to his guest, didn’t we handcuff 3 men yet I see 4 walking around free.
Understand beloved that there will be times when we find ourselves in some heated situations. There will come a point in your life where you have to make a decision either you gone trust God or you gone trust man. Trusting God, walking with God isn’t always the popular decision. These young men made the decision to go in that furnace they embraced it. They could have bowed, they could have had the mindset to say “there are thousands of people out here in the crowd, who’s gone see us bow. we can bow to save our lives, God knows my heart. But how many of you know that God knows.
There are times church when you have to just trust God & go into the fire. Yeah I know it’s hot, yeah I know it’s been heated hotter than ever before but you’ve got to trust the maker. You got to know as the cliche says, “If God brings you to it He can bring you through it”. Yes going in the fire means you may loose some family & friends but beloved thats what the fire is all about, when things get heated dead weight seems to fall off. You’ll find that when people want to lose a few pounds they’ll sit in a steam room, so they can sweat as a result of sitting in that hot room sweating they lose a few pounds.