In Daniel chapter 3, we read and discussed what happened to three men as they faced their certain death by defying the king’s order to bow down to his golden statue. They did not know what God would do but they knew that they were not going to worship a false god, even if it meant that they would be sent to a fiery furnace to burn to death. This is important to think through today because they did not know what would happen to them. What was their fate? They knew that God was able to save them but would He save them? As we wait on #coronavirus news and a return to our “normal” lives here in Daegu (or wait on other needs and concerns that we are lifting up to God in prayer) we wonder, what will God do? The focus in this text is not on God’s deliverance but that regardless of the outcome, their lives showed a steadfast faith that was not dependent on their circumstances, even though it looked like it was surely their earthly end. What does this chapter say to you as you wait on God’s response to the circumstances in your life or in the lives of those you are praying for?
Read (or listen) to Daniel 3 here:
Daniel 3:8-18 Setting the stage…
‘Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” ‘ Daniel 3:8-18 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/DAN.3.8-18
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s actions were not dependent upon God’s actions. They chose to trust in God accepting that regardless of what God chose to do – save them or not save them – they refused to go against God by ‘saving themself’ and doing what was wrong (worshiping anything else besides the one true God, even their own comfort or life). When we think about our life… are we waiting on God to act first and THEN we will have faith? Faith would not be necessary at that point if God already did what He was going to do. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego truly let go of their own desires, except to worship ONLY the one true God and accepted their fate, whatever it was. So they boldly defied the king’s order and submitted to the punishment of death via a fiery furnace.
Daniel 3:19-25 The king was furious!
‘Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated. And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.” ‘ Daniel 3:19-25 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/DAN.3.19-25
Amazing!! God was with them the whole time but now it is evident by ALL. Again, nothing in the text indicates that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew what God would do, they went along with the punishment ordered by the King and God indeed protected them after they accepted their fate. Let’s continue reading to see how the King responds…
Daniel 3:26-30 What is the outcome?
‘Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire. And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them. Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon. ‘ Daniel 3:26-30 https://my.bible.com/bible/59/DAN.3.26-30
Wow, look at what God did through the faithfulness of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! The King’s response to what they all just witnessed was a reminder of how God works through us to reveal His power and glory to the nations. Our lives can demonstrate in what or whom we really place our trust. May we be mindful of this and live in such a way that points others to the Most High God. If circumstances reveal our weak faith and doubt know that we can come to God with these matters too. He knows that we cannot save our own selves- remember that is why He sent us His Son. You are loved by God.
Thank you SO MUCH for joining in and praying for us! I pray this is helpful for you to dig into your Bibles and to seek #truth and understanding that comes from the Lord. This starts our third week of “no school at school” as everyone continues to go to school online in order to minimize group gatherings and help prevent the spread of the #coronavirus here in #Daegu, South Korea. Because @usagdaegu_area4 leadership team and the chapel services here are now starting to have M-F at 1230pm a mini-church service each day on the lawn of the chapel on Camp Walker, I am praying about if my “Bible Time & Worship” should continue daily M-F. I’m open to hear your comments about this. I am so very happy about how God’s Word and His great Name is being spread and lifted up as people look for relief and help in their sufferings.
#homeworship #thankful #familyBiblestudy #Killthevirus #Godisbiggerthanxyz #evenif #Daniel3 #onlineministry #discipleship #faithoverfear
Looking for a Bible Study to watch and consider during this time? Try these: https://sejanashines.com/2020/03/07/bible-time-worship-every-episode-summary/