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This is what has impacted me the most from the 3 Hebrew boys; Many times in our life we get into situations whether we are following Gods will or not and He shows up. In looking at these three guys they never lost faith. If it had been us we would have been wondering why God has not shown up yet. Perhaps we would have been thinking that when we were tied up, or maybe the next level when they were taken to the pit. Or perhaps while they were watching the guards put in the firewood and as one died because the fire was so hot, we would be saying "Oh God where are you, aren't you going to safe me?" But then there came the moment of truth, they were cast into the pit. They made it all the way into the fire. We would have thought just as we were thrown, "It must not have been Gods will for us to live" That's the way we think now days and this can be applied in many different areas of our lives. However the boys never gave up hope or faith in God. This just goes to point out that sometimes we have to go into the fire before we get saved and not when life just gets uncomfortable. We like it nice and easy however life is not always like this but the great thing is that God is always like that. He always comes to the rescue every time. We need not give up on Him saving us because He never gives up on saving us.
In the book of Daniel 3, we learn of the strong heartedness of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the face of a mighty king of an empire of Babylon that had gone as far as to include the mighty nation of God's own chosen people of Israel. They defiantly stood before Nebuchadnezzar as to let him know that despite the threat of painful death which they faced if they hadn't bowed down to worship his image, they would never give in, for it would have jeopardized their faith in the living God. Very many lessons can be drawn out of all of this among which are the following: We learn to be steadfast in our Faith in God These three men stood steadfast in their faith in the face of the reality of death should they have not worshiped the image. Despite all such, they chose not to let go of their faith in the living God. In fact, they courageously informed the king that even if he had thrown them in the furnace, their God would save them, but they also went on to categorically inform the king that; even when their God hadn't saved them from the fire, they still wouldn't worship the image (Daniel 3:17-18). From this, we learn that our faith in the living God must not only be so when it is easy and convenient for us. God is their for us even in very hard testing times, just as He did surely show up when these three men had been thrown in the fire. Imagine what picture would it have been had they given in! Our victory is a testimony to encourage others who find themselves in similar situations The story of these three men is one of the most mesmerizing stories ever to be in the Bible. Just at the start of the whole of it, these men look pretty finished. Nobody would see any glim of salvation of any kind. Everybody would wonder where and how these men would get such courage in the face of a lively threat of painful death. But at the end of the whole of it, we have a lively opportunity of having our faith in the living God strengthened. Every time we remain firm, our victory sets a precedent for many future generations (faith for future generations). For after these men having stood firm and having been saved from the fire by the living God, and after the king having confirmed that indeed these three men stood firm because theirs is a living God, he passed a decree that there was no other God to worship besides the God of the three men (Daniel 3:23-29). How God finally saved these three men can never leave your weakening faith the same! The challenges we are faced with in our Christian journey should be opportunities to express that our God is not limited by anything, if we do not wane in our faith. It is after God saved the three men from the fire that the king realizes that much as there may be many other small tribal gods, the God of the three men stands out, for He is JEHOVAH EL YON (Daniel 3:26). God loves to use you and I to express His Omnipotence, Omnipresence, and His Omniscience Confirmation that Jesus has lived since time immemorial When these men chose to be thrown in the fire rather than to worship the image, it so happened. A third person was seen in the fire together with them (Daniel 3:24-25). The forth person seen with them is Jesus, for the appearance of the third person in the furnace is symbolic of the saving nature of Jesus. For there are many episodes when Jesus appeared in objects or in situations, e.g, the manna from heaven (Ex 16), (John 6:58) the rock from which the Israelites got water (Numbers 20:11), the cleft of the rock where God asked Moses to hide so that Moses couldn't see God's face (Exodus 33:20-24). Remain respectful and calm, even in the face of those who seek your life These three men remained calm and respectful of the king yet very assertive. These are virtues of confidence and firmness. In fact, they went on to apologize to the king for the way they had responded to his demands (Daniel 3:16). They still recognized he is king, for leadership is God's own project, no matter which leader.
Before I answer your question, I would like to point out something that is often overlooked. The story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego is not really the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. It is the story of three Hebrew young men (four including Daniel) by the names of Hananiah, Meshael and Azariah. The aforementioned names were names that Nebuchadnezzer called them that honored his false gods. Hananiah, Meshael and Azariah were very careful not to honor Any God other than the One True God and I am sure that if they had a say in how we remember them they would prefer we remember them by their Hebrew names. As for what we can learn from their story, we should learn that God hears those who honor Him and rewards them. When we honor Him by Faith in His Son, He will reward us as well. We should learn that God is abundately able to do miracles far in excess of what we would even dream is possible. And we should learn that Jesus was there in the old testament and willing to save those who trusted in Him just as He was willing to die to save us. (The fourth man in the furnace). Mostly, we should learn to have Faith to the point of giving up our very lives to honor Him! And no we don't have to physically die to do so. Just live for Him.
God does not promise to keep us free from trouble, but that He will be with us in trouble. How do you like the hymn, "The Blood Washed Pilgrim" by Russell Kelso Carter? I saw him in the furnace; he doubted not, nor feared, And in the flames beside him, the Son of God appeared; Though seven times ’twas heated, with all the tempter’s might, He cried, “The yoke is easy, the burden, it is light.” Agreeing with Michael, God sends a heavenly Visitor to be with the faithful in their time of great trial.
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