Another in the Fire

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.
— Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV)

Nebuchadnezzar was a king who was used to getting his own way, so you can imagine just how furious he was when these three young men defied his orders to worship the image he had made 😡

The preceding verse ends with Nebuchadnezzar asking them who the god was that would deliver them from his hands. And we’re all familiar with who that God was, and how faithful He was to deliver the three from a toasty-end, so much so that even the hair on their heads wasn’t singed nor did their clothes smell of fire (Dan 3:27) 🔥 

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego told the king that their God would deliver them, but even if He didn’t they wouldn’t serve or worship any other god. It sounds like they might have been in two minds as to whether God would deliver them, so…were they being double-minded? 🤔

James 1:6-8 tells us that one how doubts won’t receive anything from the Lord, explaining that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. I don’t believe Daniel’s friends were double-minded at all, and here’s why:

First off, they weren’t under the covenant of Grace. Because of Jesus’ finished work at the Cross we can boldly and expectantly approach the throne room knowing that we are righteous - not so for the fire-bound three.

Secondly, this really was uncharted territory!  Yesterday I mentioned testimony means ‘to do again’. As far as I know there was no testimony for them to stand on - God hadn’t delivered anyone from a fiery furnace heated 7 times in the past. Today we know that God has cured cancer, He has raised the dead, He has saved people from every ugly situation imaginable and even ones unimaginable. We can therefore confidently stand on all His promises knowing what He has done for one He will do for all.

So, far from being double-minded I read this passage as three faith-filled lads of God who were resolute in their trust and unshakable in their faith, even to a flame-grilled death. They believed their God would deliver them, but unlike many of us today (myself included) they weren’t about to “put God in a box” by presuming how He would deliver them 📦 

And here’s a real revelation for me. We need to trust and believe God for our every need, and even if we don’t see that need met the way we think we should, we need to praise and worship Him just the same. 

His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than ours (Isa 55:9). We mustn’t limit the Holy One of Israel (Ps 78:41) with our own limited thinking. 

Today, I will believe in and trust Jesus to meet my every need, and even if He doesn’t do that in the way I think He will, I will believe in and trust Him, knowing His ways are higher 😀