The story of The Image of Gold and the Burning Furnace from Daniel 3 is packed with all kinds of wonderful truths. There are lessons on anger, temptation, and many other things but what I want to talk about is what it says about God's love for us. This topic can start to sound so cliche. However, it really is the basis of everything we do as Christians. It is the reason we still have life (!!!), and even with that fact, this perfect love we were gifted is so easy to drift away from if we are not constantly reminding ourselves of it. That's why this story is my favorite:)
From the very beginning of this story, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were firmly rooted in God. They refused to worship a false god. Even though I know there had to be some temptation to just give in and follow the crowd. This new (false) god made such a grand entrance with the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of other music, and not to mention King Nebuchadnezzar threatened their lives. But they didn't budge. Even when the three men were brought right to the King they still stayed strong.
King Nebuchadnezzar was an extremely arrogant person. In his attempt to force Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to worship the gold image he said, “But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” When his attempt failed, he turned the furnace up seven times hotter than usual. On an arrogance scale of 1 to 10, the King would be a 27.
Are you as frustrated at the King as I?
In this very moment, God revealed to me that He wants us to have this same fearless confidence in Him. How transforming would it be if we trusted in our God as the three men did? We would have the peace that they had in verse 18 knowing that God would protect them, and even if that didn’t mean saving them from the furnace that God was still good!!
We know that God did save them from the fire. However in life, we don’t always get spared from having to go through the fire. Often, we have to face and live through the hard times that we are given. But the most important thing is that we not rely on ourselves, but instead turn to God and call on Him to defend us like the three men did in verse 16. God wants to protect us. “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26). God has shown his love for us so many times, and because of Jesus (another example of his love) all we have to do is reach out.
Dear Lord, I pray that we will be reminded of your love. I pray that we will seek you out and discover you in ways that we never have before. You are our protector and the creator of the universe there is nothing that can stop you. I pray that that truth will become engraved on our hearts and that we will live with the type of boldness that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had.