“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us 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.” Daniel 3:16-18 NIV
Do you know the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?
If not, let me summarize: these 3 Jewish teens were owned by King Neb’s government. King Neb had a statue build and told everyone to worship it. These 3 did not, because it was against their beliefs. King Neb said: worship the stupid statue or I will throw you in the fire. King Neb never thought these kids would say no when threatened with death. These kids not only said no – but then they said God can rescue them!!! But even if God doesn’t rescue them, they would rather die in the fire than betray their God.
So the kids won’t worship the idol and the King is so mad he heated the fire 7 times hotter (not sure what it was hotter than and what the fire was actually for) and had his men throw in the kids. The fire was so hot, the heat around the furnace burnt and killed the men who threw in the kids – but the kids were not harmed. God saved them from the fire!
God is so loving and kind to His faithful, that He can save them from the fire!! Amen!!
I have heard many a sermon on this passage: like being saved from the fire being a parallel to being saved from hell and all the great and powerful ways God has shown Himself God. Last night my pastor preached on it – speaking of the power of God.
God is capable of moving the mountain. God is capable of parting the sea. God can speak a word and fix all our problems and concerns and take away the pain. But what if He says no?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said that God IS ABLE to deliver them, but even if he does not, they will not worship the image. Even if He does not. Even if He does not!
I pray and say mountain be moved, but what if He doesn’t let the mountain move? I pray: part the waters and make a way for me, and what if He says: no? I proclaim to the unsaved, my God IS CAPABLE – and then He says no, what then?
Paul pleaded with the Lord to have the thorn in his flesh removed. (Side note: many have speculated what this thorn was – to me what the thorn was doesn’t matter. The lesson Paul is preaching is what matters – stay focused.)
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 NIV
OOOOooooo glory to God!!!! We are back to that precious grace!
God did not spare Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from having to go into the fire or from the hands of King Neb – nope. King Neb had his evil way with them… right into the fire! And God showed up and hung out with them in the fire! And God saved them from the fire!!! There is the grace!!!
But if God did not show up and the fire consumed them???? They would be in heaven!!! Oh the grace!!! This is the sufficiency of grace!!! I am not facing anything life or death at the moment – praise the Lord! But God can overcome my problems! Will He? Will I end up in a theoretically worse situation (symbolically represented by fire)? Well, then the grace of God shall be with me! Amen?!
Paul implies that these “no” answers are character builders. Help to weaken us. What?? I thought God was making strong Christians?! Ah but Paul must have been a very strong willed man and always talking about the struggle with the flesh. Weak: not as in lack of physical strength, not as in lack of mental strength – not weak in your prayer life – not weak in your commitment to reading the Bible – not weak emotionally – oh no!!!! The weak he is talking about is our WILL must be weakened. We should be weak in the way that God’s will can be accomplished in a way that shows God’s power and glory given to him.
When God says no – how do you know? The answers to prayer are yes, yes but later, and no. Just because you did not get an immediate yes does NOT mean He said no. Maybe He wants you to pray longer? To persevere and be persistent. Maybe that persistence will be used to build a prayer life?! A Holy Spirit filled prayer life that regularly moved metaphorical mountains and is able to move literal ones. So when you do not have a yes – KEEP PRAYING!!!
Today I was praying, praying, and praying over a work situation. At the end of the day I found an item that God had used as a confirmation that He had given me this job. As I held that item I felt peace – God gave me this job and He will work it out the way I want. I praised the Lord – I affirmed He is always in control and not my will but His will be done and then I left for the day. I got inside my car and turned on the Christian radio and a song came on… I have never heard the song before – but it reiterated pastor’s sermon and what if God did not spare Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And as I listened to the song – I knew God said no. I am not getting my way in this work situation and what I consider a bad situation will get slightly worse. I got home and my friend shared a video with me of a pastor preaching and he also spoke of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So when God says “no” he confirms it. You know that you know that you know. I will be honest, I will still pray over this situation – instead of saying God, I want it this way, now I will rest in his grace and let Him do it his way. And know that even if I end up in the symbolic fire – He will be there with me, His grace is sufficient, and when I am weak (my fleshly will submitted) He will prove Himself strong and be glorified!
Pray for me! I have always been such a strong willed person. I need to be strong willed about my commitment to God and not my desired outcomes at work! Pray for me – this thorn in my flesh is here to build character – pray I learn this lesson quickly.
And even though He said no – I praise Him. I trust Him. I worship Him. I thank Him for the Grace and I thank Him for His plan (even if I cannot see it yet). I still love Him, I still serve Him. I do not need a ‘yes’ – all I need is Jesus.
My relationship with Him is all I need.
**If you want to have a relationship with Jesus, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**
If you would like to read the whole of the Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego story – it is below.
Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ Love one another
~ Watch and Pray ~
Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
8 At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “May the king live forever! 10 Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, 11 and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”Daniel 3:8-30 NIV
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. 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?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 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.”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24 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?”
They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. 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.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.”