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Faith in the Furnace

"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. But even if he does not... we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).

The book of Daniel is a wild ride. Quick backstory: During the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem and took who were deemed the most attractive and capable Jewish men as captives back to Babylon. Among these men were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (given the Babylonian names Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego). They were educated in Babylonian language and culture in order to enter into the king’s service.

During his reign, Nebuchadnezzar put up an image of gold and commanded the peoples to bow down and worship it. When Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego refused, they were sentenced to death in a blazing furnace.

And here we are, as the three men speak boldly and plainly with confidence in their God. They know that He is able to protect them from harm even when it is impossible by earthly standards. And yet they acknowledge that even if He doesn’t choose to protect them from the fire, they will not worship another god.

They are thrown into the fire, a fire so hot that the soldiers who were charged with throwing them in are instantly incinerated. And as the evil king watches the flames, his face goes pale. Not only are the men walking in the fire unharmed, but he spots a fourth man walking with them. Some scholars think this was an angel, and others believe it was pre-incarnate Jesus. Either way, we can be assured we serve a God who doesn’t just save us (though that would be enough)—he walks alongside us in our trials. What a powerful and unfathomable love💛🧡♥️

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