Summer in Arkansas can you say HOT. We all ventured out to the farm the other day to see the pumpkin and watermelon patch. We couldn’t take the heat very long. We all got back in the car and made our way to the spillway to splash water all over us.
No coffee with cupcake isn’t about the weather but it is about the heat. The heat of the fiery furnace.
DIVE INTO SCRIPTURE
Before reading the scripture in Daniel lets visit about King neb. King neb was a very powerful king of Babylon. He was responsible for destroying Solomon’s temple and initiating the Babylonian captivity. He is a significant character in the book of Daniel.
New International Version
The Image of Gold and the Blazing Furnace
3 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide,[a] and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
4 Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “Nations and peoples of every language, this is what you are commanded to do: 5 As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
Shad, Me, and Abednego had an option they could either bow down or stand firm in faith. I wonder if their answer was immediate or did, they think about it?
When given an option are you influenced by culture and bow down? Or do you do as in Exodus 20 do not worship gods made of gold or silver, put no other gods before me, not worship false gods?
The three don’t plead mercy to the King. They plead mercy to the king of kings – vs. 16
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[c] 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.”
My favorite words BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT. It is God’s will that happens and these three know this. They are willing to die for the God they worship. Bottom line they were not going to worship anyone but God. BIBLE COMMENTARY
King Neb was so mad vs 19
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
King Neb wanted them to suffer. He made the fire seven times hotter. He didn’t just throw them in he bound them which would make the process of burning longer.
BUT God walks in the fire with them. King Neb said this:
25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
During our lifetime we will encounter a hot furnace. Some of the furnaces maybe seven times hotter. Every furnace doesn’t end with a happy ending like Shad, Meshach, and Abednego.
As I researched, I listened to a teaching by Joel Muddamalle. I found this very interesting to think about- the furnace was the tool that created the idol. Human hands created the furnace to melt the gold and then fashion the gold to make the image that they were to bow down to. However, the furnace is what God used to glorify Him.
What is our furnace? Do we use our furnaces to glorify God? Do we use the furnace to show our faith and total dependence on God?
We are to be an example as we walk in the furnace. We may come out singed, we may not get the outcome we would prefer, but God is there with us in the flames. We can glorify God within the fire.
There is always another one in the furnace with us even when the heat is seven times hotter. God doesn’t send us into the fire without the promise of his presence.
CHALLENGES OF THE WEEK
- Keep Your Daily Appointment
- Dive Deep Into The Word
- Use Your Seven Times Hotter Furnace As A Tool To Glorify God And To Be An Example To Others
- Fill Your Cup With Christ