God who Delivers
Daniel 3:17-20 NKJV
Daniel 3:25 NKJV
Daniel 3:28-30 NKJV
Beginnings in Babylon
In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar made a really large really expensive golden image and he put it on display for all to see. He followed up by calling everyone in his kingdom out to come see his really large expensive golden image.
When they showed up, he announced that this was their new god. He informed everyone in his kingdom that they had to bow down to his molded really large really expensive golden image because this was their new god.
Everyone said okay because they didn’t have a choice. Well, almost everyone.
Three guys said no.
Because they said no they were told if they didn’t bow down to his really large really expensive golden god image, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said while that made them sad if the king insisted they’d choose the furnace because Yahweh was their God and He was the real deal. They said, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King” (Daniel 3:17).
At this point King Nebuchadnezzer’s nostrils were beginning to flare.
Even so, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fanned the flame by saying, “but if not, let it be known to you, O King, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the golden image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:18).
Wow…that took guts.
The not so understanding King Nebuchadnezzer went full throttle. He “was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnaces” (Daniel 3:19-20).
At this point we need to note that the King’s brave mighty men of valor who were chosen to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the seven times hotter furnace were about to have a not so great day. The furnace was so hot that upon their approach to the furnace when they tossed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the mouth of the furnace, they immediately burned up.
What happened next was weird and astonishing.
After the King’s now toasted men tossed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the seven times hotter fiery furnace, the King noticed something totally astonishing and weird. He said, “I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25).
At that point the King was so astonished that he wasn’t sure what to think. He could see the bodies of his brave mighty men of valor toasted and burned up outside the furnace, yet Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and a fourth man (who looked like the Son of God) walked around unscathed inside the seven times hotter furnace.
King Nebuchadnezzer was totally baffled.
He’d never faced this kind of defeat before and he wasn’t sure how to proceed.
So, the King ordered them to come out so he would get a closer look. When they came out, sure enough, not a hair on their head was singed. Their clothing was not burned. And…they didn’t even smell of smoke. Hummm…
Also, the King looked for the fourth man and he didn’t come out with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He disappeared.
This was a new one on the all powerful King of the Babylonian Empire.
The King had no recourse so he said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent His Angel* and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the King’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks nothing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this” (Daniel 3:28-29).
And in addition to THAT, “the King promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon” (Daniel 3:30).
Our God IS our deliverer!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Delivered
Let God deliver you from whatever plagues you.
In God, Deborah
*Or the Son of God