Do Not Fear The Heat Of The Trial
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were Jewish men of integrity and honor. They followed God’s commands and refused to compromise. God had favor on them and King Nebuchadnezzar had set them over the affairs of the province of Babylon. There came a time, however, when King Nebuchadnezzar decided to make an image of gold and have everyone bow down to it. So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they all stood before the image. There would be a sound and after that all were to fall down before the image. Those who did not would be cast immediately into a burning fiery furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were in a foreign place. They worked amongst the people and even held high positions, but they refused to compromise who they really were…followers of God. They refused to bow down to an object other than God and were called out as we see below in Daniel 3:8-12:
“Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Sometimes we will be put in the middle of a situation where we will have to defend our loyalty to God and His commands…even when it involves punishment or worse. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego knew the consequences if they chose not to bow to another peoples god…death…but although they may have experienced some fear, they stood their ground in their loyalty to God not to mention faith that He would rescue them. But they also knew that even if God chose not rescue them, they still wouldn’t budge in their decision as we see in verses 16-18:
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.”
Although today we are still faced with defending our faith, it can also apply to other things such as alcohol, drugs, lifestyles, and even our characters. People are not always going to accept our changes when we decide to leave a lifestyle that is unpleasing to God. They may not understand why we choose to live one way when everyone else seems to live another. I have heard people gasp when someone has said they do not have a cellphone or computer. True, it’s technology and technology is good, but it can also be addicting and we know that anything that occupies us more than God is idolatry. Social media can become idolatry when we are on it constantly. We have to ask ourselves, “what is it we are bowing down too and giving more attention to than God?”
As we see with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego , they refused to compromise and were willing to accept the consequences, laying their lives in the hands of God. King Nebuchadnezzar was so angry he had the burning fiery furnace turned up seven times more than normal. He had certain mighty men of valor bind the three men and cast them into the burning fiery furnace but when they did, the flame of the fire killed the men of valor because the fire was so hot. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego fell down, bound, in the midst of the fire. We must not be discouraged when the heat of our situation seems to go up a few notches even though we are doing the right thing. God allows this to strengthen us and to glorify Himself. It is under extreme pressure where we will see what we are made of and where we will turn to God even more. Sometimes the trial may be so difficult that we seem to fall down under the pressure a bit but when we continue trusting in the Lord and praying, we will be able to withstand the heat of the trial and God will not only glorify Himself to us, but to others as well. This will require patience on our end. Sometimes in certain situations, others (or the enemy) may try and stop us from doing what is right by standing in our way or making it difficult to continue doing the correct thing. They may be that obstacle in our path and therefore stop us for a time (binding us) but when we remain loyal to the Lord and wait upon Him, He will not only rescue us, but He will walk with us and protect us as we see in verses 24-25:
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were not alone in their trial…the fiery furnace. They were covered and protected. We also see where the ones who bound Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego and threw them into the fire were killed by the heat of the fire. We must also take notice that the king saw four men loose and walking around in the fire. It is in the heat of our problems that God will break our bondages and set us free even while we are still in the heat of the trial. There will also be times where some people may play a negative part in our trials and problems, causing the problem to become even more heated, but as we can see from scripture, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not even have to lift a finger or say a word to try and stop the situation or defend themselves. They simply professed their faith in the Lord, remained loyal to Him and did not even fight against being bound and thrown into the fire. In fact, those who bound them and threw them into the fire were killed instantly as soon as they got close enough to the furnace. They were not able to tolerate the heat of the furnace and did not have protection against it, but when we are under God’s covering, He gives us the strength to tolerate whatever we are going through and to not even be harmed by it as we see in verses 26-27:
“Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were testimonies for the king and all of his officials. The fire had no power upon the men and they were unaffected by the fire. In other words, they were not affected by the trial and survived it. When we go through trials and problems we must pray for God’s coverage and for great endurance to get through the trial or problem until he delivers us from it. When the very people who may accuse us or cause us the problems see we are still standing and not harmed by the problem they will see how great our God really is and it could change their views about God as we see in verses 28-29:
“Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
As bad as their situation was, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego never wavered in their loyalty and trust in God. They waited upon the Lord for deliverance from their situation and in doing so, God was glorified.
During our problem or trial we never know just how important the outcome of it will be as a testimony to our faith in God. Sometimes we can only see the current situation and how bad it really is, but if we quit half way through it, we will never see the finished product or what could have been. We will never see the true healing we could have had if we just stuck it out. That is why when we are in the heat of a problem or trial, we must never allow our emotions to consume us and make us run in another direction. We must draw strength upon the Lord to walk it through. As we walk through the problem, the enemy will always try to turn up the heat to destroy us but when we are close to God, He will allow this so under the pressure we can become a diamond and he can perfect us. It is under the pressure where many impurities are removed from us and God purifies us. It is under the pressure where God not only shows us what we are made of, but shows others who want to see us destroyed. And it is under the pressure where God is glorified in His magnificent work.
What was the final outcome after all was said and done? God was glorified and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego received a promotion in the province of Babylon. God will always reward us for our loyalty and faith in Him.
Whatever your problem or trial is, hold on tight to the promises of God. Remain loyal to your beliefs in Him and let nothing pull you away. No matter how hot the problem or trial is, no matter how difficult, if you remain close to the Lord, He will remain close to you, walking through it with you and protecting you. Will there be times we may have to do something, perhaps and in those times God will show us what to do, but other times we just have to remain faithful and diligent in our beliefs and not allow anything to make us run in another direction and quit. Fear will often do this but we must remember “he has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind“.
Lord, thank you for your coverage and protection during my problem. Sometimes the problem is so hot I want to jump back our of fear, but today I surrender all fear to you Lord. Take it from me and give the courage and strength to endure my problem until you deliver me from it. Help me to see clearly and not to be blinded by emotions. Help me to stay still and wait upon your rescue instead of moving out of emotion. I need your guidance Lord. Lead me in the right direction. Thank you Jesus for walking with me during this problem. I know you will break my bondage to whatever is harming me and you will set me free. In Jesus name I pray…Amen.