In the fire we are tested. In the fire we are purified. Will we break? Or will we become a shining reflection of Jesus? When we read about Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego we may be tempted to dismiss them as a children’s story. Don’t make the mistake! These guys are powerful witnesses of faith. They were a few young men who loved God but were captured by their enemy and then forced to work for a powerful government. The enemy king at the time had become very prideful, wallowed in sin and served idols. It was a dangerous place to be for all the captured Israelites. Every day they faced unbelievable persecution and slavery. Still they stood up well and served while serving the Lord in their hearts. We do not know how many close calls they had with torture or death. We know that at some point, the king commanded everyone to worship a false god and our heroes made a choice that would bring their deaths for sure. They would not bow. Enraged, the king chose execution by fire in a kiln. He was going to cook and vaporize these men. Imagine what Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego were thinking as they looked at the furnace before being thrown in. I doubt they had 100% holy thoughts. They had to have been afraid, but they were resolved to not turn away from the Lord. They KNEW who they served. The Bible tells us that as they were in the furnace, these men were not killed or even burned. A fourth man, Jesus, could be seen in there with them. Their miraculous encounter with Jesus turned this idol worshiping king to the one true Lord and a nation would follow suit. These young men literally went into a fire and walked out without even the scent of smoke on them. An incredible account from history that we all can take a lesson from! Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego lived in the middle of idolatry and had to serve in an idolatrous government. The things they had to witness and endure in this kind of environment probably made their skin crawl, yet they did not give up serving the Lord. Many many Israelites had long since given up. By these young men’s faithfulness, God was glorified and a nation turned to Him. If they had not chosen to stand for the Lord, we would never have heard about them and the country would have continued serving idols.
The Lord can do great things through a righteous person and bless them in the process.
Take heart. Stand firm. Persevere.