2021 has been another year of trials for my family and I. The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the book of Daniel kept showing up while listening to podcasts and reading my Bible in the mornings. It has been a great reminder that God is with us even when we are under fire. God may not save us from hardships, but He is present and in control. Join us as we learn more about these 3 men who committed their faith solely to God, were punished by their local king, and how God miraculously saved them.
Incredible Acts of Courage
Daniel 3 tells us King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold. He directed everyone to bow down and worship the image every time music was played. Anyone who disobeyed would be thrown into a fiery furnace.
Some astrologers come forward and reveal that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who loved God, refused to serve the king’s gods or worship his image. The king was enraged and demanded that they do as he directed or they would be thrown into the blazing furnace.
The three young men bravely say to the king:
Daniel 3:16-18 NIV
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.”
King Nebuchadnezzar, now furious, orders that the furnace be heated 7 times hotter than usual. The 3 young men are tied up and thrown in. The furnace was so hot that it killed all the soldiers who threw in Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then the king leaps up and discovers 4 men in the furnance! The 4th man looks like a son of the gods. He orders the 3 young men to come out and they come out completely unharmed. King Nebuchanezzar then starts to praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, as well as praise the young men. The king then orders everyone to respect the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, or else they will be punished. The three young men are also given promotions in the province of Babylon.
Who were Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego?
Daniel 1 tells us that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were Israelites from the royal or nobel families, and were without physical defect, handsome, and intelligent. Even though God had allowed Judah to be overtaken by the Babylonions, the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, wanted some of the young Israelite men for his service. And from the very beginning, these 3 young men, as well as Daniel, stood out for their devotion to God, their wisdom, and their godly behavior. God gave the 4 men knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And by the end of their training, King Nebuchadnezzar found them superior to all other trainees and were put into the kings service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding, the king found them 10 times better than all the other magicians and enchanters in the kingdom. (Daniel 1:17-20)
What Can We Learn From Them?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had great conviction in God, confidence in God, and faith in God. “Their acknowledgment of God over the world’s most powerful king resulted in God’s supreme power being revealed to unbelievers. Their faith demonstrates that God is able to deliver us from our own problems and trials.” (GotQuestions.org)
“As believers, we know that God is able to deliver. However, we also know that He does not always do so. Romans 5 tells us that God may allow trials and difficulties in our lives to build our character, strengthen our faith, or for other reasons unknown to us. We may not always understand the purpose of our trials, but God simply asks that we trust Him—even when it is not easy. Job, who endured incredible pain, almost insurmountable agony, and suffering, was still able to say, “Though He may slay me, yet will I hope in Him” (Job 13:15).” (GotQuestions.org)
“The chief lesson from the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is that, as Christians, we will never be able to bring the world to Christ by becoming like it. As did these three men, so should we in revealing to the world a higher power, a greater purpose, and a superior morality, than the world in which we live. If we are put before the fiery furnace, we can reveal the One who can deliver us from it. Remember the powerful, yet comforting words, of the apostle Paul:” (GotQuestions.org)
“Our hope when experiencing illness, persecution, or pain lies in knowing that this life is not the end—there is life after death. That is His promise to all those who love and obey Him. Knowing that we will have eternal life with God enables us to live above the pain and suffering we endure in this life.” (Gotquestions.org)
Do you know Jesus? If you don’t, it’s not too late! He greatly desires to be a part of your life. Invite Him into your current fires and allow Him to take over. Remove the sin problem that separates you from God and confess your sins to Him. Make the best decision of your life today!