The account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they stood firm in the face of fire in front of King Nebuchadnezzar is a childhood favorite of mine. This morning, as I read it anew, there were details that stood out to me more than they ever have before. One such point that had previously escaped me, is the fact that the men whom Nebuchadnezzar considered his strongest men, were called on to throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the fire that had been heated to seven times hotter than its usual temperature. The trio of faithful followers of God were tied up, fully clothed, and thrown into the furnace, however, this is the part that I neglected to notice before:
And because the king in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. – (Daniel 3:22, NLT)
Can you even begin to imagine what the scene might have been like? Three men bound and fully clothed (in attire that was quite flammable) not even breaking a sweat and untouched by the fire, as the soldiers were consumed by the blazing heat of the flames as they drew near the furnace and threw in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. It is an interesting dichotomy, as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego willingly went to the fire because they trusted God, whereas the strong soldiers willingly went to the fire because they knew if they did not obey, they would be killed. On one side there was faithful obedience out of trust and reverent awe, whereas on the other, it was only out of fear. Our motivation matters. When we know God, we want to obey and honor Him because we trust in His goodness and grace. May we ever trust the Lord and His hand when we stand in the face of the fire, for He is good and His faithfulness knows no end.
We must choose to trust,
When facing the flames;
For He’s our rescue,
As we trust His Name.
Worthy of our faith,
The God of all grace;
He comes as we call,
Wherever the place.
No mountain’s too high,
Nor valley too low;
For Him to draw near,
And make His strength known.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that when we trust in You, You are faithful to meet us where we are. Thank You that You hear our every prayer, and know every need. Forgive us for our lack of faith when the flames come at us with force. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would stand firm in You, knowing that You are far greater than anything that comes against us. Show us how to love those around us in a way that offers hope and strength where they are lacking. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust in You in the fire and in freedom. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3