When the Heat’s On
When the Israelites had been taken into the captivity of Babylon, there were three young men, friends of Daniel, who refused to worship the golden idol as King Nebuchadnezzar had demanded. The consequence of their failure to comply was that they’d be thrown into the fiery furnace, meant to die in their disobedience to the king. As seen in Daniel chapter 3, these men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, were bound and thrown into the fiery furnace that was so hot it burned up the men who threw them in! Look at Daniel 3:24-25, “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.” If you continue reading, you see that the power of God and His protection in the midst of the fiery furnace even convinced the evil King Nebuchadnezzar that God was real!
This account reminds me of Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” God was in the midst of these three men who together agreed that going against their Lord was far worse than standing up to their enemy.
You see, there were thousands of God’s people who were captives of Babylon but we don’t hear about many refusing to worship other gods. We don’t hear about many being put in the fire. The devil is after the faithful. But God is on your side! Psalms 118:6, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Many of the Israelites taken into captivity weren’t willing to stand up for their God. They were willing to obey the command to bow before their enemies and their false gods. We don’t hear about the deliverance they received. No, instead we hear about how God came through for those who came through for Him. Look at this important principle in scripture, Isaiah 1:19-20, “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
What’s the fiery furnace of your life? Is it the fact that you seem to be living paycheck to paycheck but the Word tells you to tithe and give offerings into the kingdom of God? “But if we bring 10% forget having our car fixed! We’ll just compromise and skip out on that part of the Bible.” When you choose withhold from God, you choose to bow down to the false idol instead of trusting God to bring you through the furnace. Maybe you desire a spouse, or at least companionship, especially physical companionship…oh the devil will give you plenty of opportunities for that. But will you trust God in the furnace? Will you trust that He’s got someone for you if you remain in faith and patience? Don’t bow down to the false god. Don’t go the way of the world and settle for someone who isn’t serving God. Wait for the right time and the right person. The fiery furnace in your life could be your need for healing, it could be waiting for your wayward children to return, or it could be needing a new job. We can doubt God or we can trust Him regardless of the trial. Yes, regardless of the need, regardless of the opposition, we need to rest and trust God through it.
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”