Friday, July 2

God Carries Us Through the Fire

Daniel, Chapter 3 talks about the story of three men: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three men served in Babylon, servants of King Nebuchadnezzar. All of the servants were told to bow down to the golden image, and these three men would not. Daniel 3:6 says, "Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace." If the people heard the sound of a "horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, and all kinds of music," they were to bow down. But three Jews - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did not bow down. Verses 16-18 says, "If the God we serve is able to deliver us, then he will deliver us from the blazing furnace and from Your Majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up." In his rage, the King ordered the furnace to burn seven times hotter than usual. He commanded the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up the three and throw them in the furnace. So it was. The men were thrown into the blazing hot furnace. Verse 24 continues, "Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, 'Weren't there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?' 'Certainly your Majesty.'"

Verse 24, "He said, '"Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed and the fourth looks like as son of the gods.'" (This man was Jesus.) The King called the three men out of the fire, and verse 27 tells us, "They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them." God protected his followers. The King believed in God after this, and made his kingdom follow God. God made good on his promise - and he saved them. This story is also an exmaple of how God carries us through the hard times in life. Regardless of what you are doing, God will always help you through it - and while you may not recognize that, he always does. Things could always be worse. Sometimes we go through things in the hope that we will learn a specific lesson.

God carries us through the fire. This is why sacred Scripture tells us, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5).

Troy Hillman

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