Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” (Daniel 3:4-6)
King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue, which was ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then he sent messages to the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up. So all these officials came and stood before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Then the herald proclaimed an order: all peoples, nations, and languages fall down and worshiped the ninety-feet-tall gold statue of the King Nebuchadnezzar. What would you do if you were one of the people called in?
Bible continues: so at the sound of the musical instruments, all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. All of them confirmed what was told.
However, one group of people did not bow down to the gold statue. They were Jews, who believed God and faithfully kept God’s commandments – “you shall have no other gods before me, and you shall not bow down to a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth” (the 1st and 2nd of the ten commandments, Exodus 20:3,4,5).
By the way, Certain Chaldeans in the country did not like the Jews. They came to the king, and maliciously accused the Jews: “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.” (Daniel 3: 9-12)
Keeping a faith is not easy. Some people do not like you who keep faith in God. They try to stop you worshiping God. What was confronted by Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is a good example. Chaldeans set a trap to destroy what the Jews believed.
Bible continues: Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” (Daniel 3:14)
If you were one of the friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, what would be your answer?
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 3:16-18)
The three friends’ answer was so clear. They even said there was no need to answer the king in this matter. God would deliver them from the fiery furnace with His supernatural power because God was omnipotent. Even though He would not save them, they would not bow down to the gold statue because they could not worship except God. They were calm and faithful, and firmly declared the Supreme God and His ability to rescue from anything that man could make. Additionally, they declared no matter what happened to them, they would keep their faith including the case that God would not save them. Why? They knew and believed what they saw was temporary, and what could not be seen was eternal. They took the eternity with God rather than a small gain on earth – extending their lives on earth.
Upon hearing their answer, Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury. The expression of his face was changed against three faithful friends. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was used to be heated, and threw them into the burning fiery furnace. The furnace was so hot and their king’s order was so much demanding that the super-hot flames killed the solider as they threw the three men in. The three faithful friends, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.
Then Nebuchadnezzar and their people suddenly saw a scene that they could not believe. Four people were waking in the roaring flames unharmed. Even the fourth looks like a god. God protected the three faithful friends. When they came out of the roaring flames, the people including the king could see that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!
God is with us always. Especially, when we need Him most, He is right next to us. What we need is to see Him in the midst of a firing life event. His stretching hand is right before us, and asking us to reach out our hands to hold His hand. Please lift up eyes in your heart, and see His face. He has been long waiting for you to see your eyes, which is the most precious to Him. This will make His joy and our joy together be complete.
Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
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