Conclusion Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 121:8 ESV
Daniel 3:16-18 ESV
Daniel 3:24-26 ESV
Daniel 3:28-30 ESV
I have a constant companion who often travels with me. Those who know me well understand that this small (but mighty) companion provides great emotional support.
He’s black and gray. He isn’t terribly sociable with outsiders (which is anyone except me and two of my grand children). He is part schnauzer and part poodle…so schnoodle.
While he’s not by any means my first dog, he’s the first dog who is strictly mine. I’ve shared many other dogs with family members, but when I acquired this dog I was single. He is mine and I am his.
He was probably the easiest dog I’ve ever trained. Even at nine years old I can teach him new commands and tricks in record time. I’ve had a cocker spaniel and a Shihtzu and while they were lovable and beautiful dogs, they were not so easy to train.
My emotional support dog’s name is Abednego…Auby for short. The first dog I had as an adult was a miniature schnauzer and his name was Shadrach. Later we had a Yorkie named Mechach. Now, Abednego rounds out the dynamic trio.
Their names were taken from Daniel, Chapter 3. They were the three men thrown in the fiery furnace because they wouldn’t bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar and worship a golden image he made. When Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were called before the King for refusing to worship the golden image, they told the King in Daniel 3:16-18, “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.”
Not only did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse to bow down to the golden image they were insolent about it! They outright told the King that their God was able to deliver them from the fiery furnace. In addition to that, they said even if their God didn’t deliver them, they would not bow down to worship the golden image.
The King was so filled with anger that he ordered the fire to be stoked so it would be seven times hotter than normal. The King ordered that the three men would be bound and cast into the hot hot furnace. The furnace was so hot that the King’s men who cast him into the fire were instantly burned up outside the door of the furnace.
The next thing that happened was quite astonishing.
We read in Daniel 3:24-26, “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.” 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.”
The three men were bound and thrown into the fire but when the King and his men looked into the furnace they saw four men walking around unbound. Scripture even tells us that the King said the fourth man looked like a son of gods.
Remember that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego told the King that even if they perished in the fire they would not bow down to the golden image.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew their God was THE God.
Then in Daniel 3:28-30 we learn, “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.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that whatever happened, God would take care of them. They knew that God would shelter their earthly bodies from the heat, or God would give them new heavenly bodies so they could dwell with God through all eternity.
Either way…they knew God would care for them.
Psalm 121:8 tells us, “The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”
We are no different today. Whatever happens, God will keep us in His care today, tomorrow, and always.
I know it’s pretty silly, but I tell my pup regularly that God’s got everything covered.
Even though he’s pretty smart I know he doesn’t understand what I’m saying. What he does understand is the reassuring tone of my voice.
He ‘gets’ that.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Be Reassured
Spend some time sitting in silence with God. Allow the Spirit to speak to you, or simply calm you. Receive God’s reassurance that God will keep you in your going out and your coming in. Know that whatever happens God will hold onto you now and forevermore.
In God, Deborah