Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Three Hebrew Boys

The Three Hebrew Boys (Part IV)

(Dan 3:25 NIV) He said, "Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods."

We saw how king Nebuchadnezzar turned up the pressure on Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego by ordering the fire to be cranked up 7X hotter. The Hebrew Boys had done all the right things. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had honored their heavenly Father, they were promoted to leadership positions even though their nation was under captivity (they were supposed to be slaves), they refused to worship an idol god, they held their ground in the face of the king’s ultimatum, and they refused to crack under the pressure. There is no question in my mind that these boys had a Warrior Spirit. Their steel resolve was remarkable. They had crossed the faith-line and were now totally dependant on God. If God did not do it, it simply would not get done. Have you ever been there? I know I am there right now.

Imagine them going up the ramp to the furnace. The fire was blazing so strong that the flames consumed one of the men taking them there. I can only imagine what was going through their minds. If it were me I probably would be thinking things like: “OK God, I did my part, I am waiting on You to do yours. You can step in any minute here… Hey God, right now would be a good time for You to show out.” As I got closer and closer to the fire I would be looking and waiting and waiting and looking for God to do something, anything! But it did not happen as we would think. The Hebrew boys had done nothing wrong. Actually, they had done everything right, and they were still in a bind (literally) and facing death.

So guess what happened? Nebuchadnezzar’s men took the boys all the way to the mouth of the furnace and sure enough, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fire while they were still bound. Wow! If it were us we would think, “Man! God never showed up. It never happened. They spoke up in faith. They took God public. They held their ground. They said all the right things. But at the end of the day, they were still thrown into the fiery furnace. What a sad commentary.”

But wait, the story is not over. Yes, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace bound, but someway, somehow, they were not dead. The fire must have burned up the ties that had them bound, but it was not consuming them. Furthermore, instead of being all alone in the midst of the fire, there was someone there WITH them. King Nebuchadnezzar saw it and he was amazed. He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”

Awesome! These guys were walking around in the midst of the fire and they had the blessed comfort of heavenly company. I will talk more about this “Fourth Man” in the fire next week. We will stop here for today.

So what does this mean to you? Let’s seek to glean a few golden nuggets:

1. Sometimes you can do all the right things and you still wind up facing strong opposition.

2. Sometimes God will deliver you FROM it, but there are also sometimes He delivers You IN it!

3. God can use the very thing the enemy meant to destroy you for your good (e.g. the fire was meant to kill them, but it was used to loose them).

4. Sometimes it doesn’t happen the way you expect it to happen, but never lose heart, God is still there! If you are still breathing, then there is still hope!

Father, living by faith is often awesome and amazing; and it is always exciting. I don’t know what You are going to do today, but I trust it will be good. I will honor You daily with my thoughts, words, and actions and I truly believe that You will bless me to experience Your best. I know I will face opposition and even strong challenges from time to time, but when my faith is tested it will be proven as strong, because I refuse to quit. Even if things don’t happen the way I would like them to, I truly believe that they will work out for me in the end. Even in the midst of the fire, I am still trusting You, because I know You love me so much that You are right in the fire WITH me! I am never helpless, therefore I am never hopeless! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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