“He answered and said, ‘But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.'” Daniel 3:25 (ESV)
What does this verse mean to us?
This Bible verse comes from a story in the book of Daniel. During this time there was a king called Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king that ruled the land with strength and honor. However, Nebuchadnezzar was prideful and felt that he should decide whom his people would worship. So one day, Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue. This statue was tall and beautiful, and so he decided to make it his god. Nebuchadnezzar thought so much of this idol that he declared that everyone in his kingdom should worship it. He also declared that, if they did not worship the golden statue, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace.
Immediately all the people in the nation fell down and worshipped this idol that Nebuchadnezzar had made. The king had declared that this idol was a god and that it should be worshipped. The people, trusting their king, did exactly as he commanded. However, there were three men that would not bow to the king’s idol. Their names were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These three men did not believe that the king’s new god was real; they believed in the one true God and they refused to pray to anyone else.
When Nebuchadnezzar heard that these three men had declined to worship his idol, he became furious. He immediately sent out his servants to have them brought before him. He was a powerful king, and could not tolerate those who would not follow his commands.
The king tried his best to make the three men bow before his idol. He told them that if they did not worship the idol, they would be killed. But, no matter what Nebuchadnezzar said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego still refused to worship his golden idol. They told him that they would only worship the one true God.
Nebuchadnezzar was furious. He could not understand why these three men would simply not bow to his idol. He had to find a way to punish them. He decided that he must do as he had said, and throw them into his furnace. Nebuchadnezzar was very angry that these men would not obey him, so he told his men to heat the furnace to seven times it’s normal heat. As punishment, he would have Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego thrown in.
Nebuchadnezzar had his men take Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to the fiery furnace, where they would face death. A few of the guards were told to put the men into the furnace, and so they did. The furnace was so hot that it instantly killed the guards that went near it.
After a short time, Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace. To his surprise, there were now four men walking around, unharmed, inside the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t know what was going on, as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego should have burned the moment they were put into the furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar helped the three men out of the furnace and they were completely unharmed. He had never seen such a miracle before in his life. If the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego was powerful enough to save them from the fiery furnace, perhaps their God was the one true God after all. Nebuchadnezzar had a change of heart and decided to worship the God of these men. He called his servants and declared that all the people should worship the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
This story serves as an example to us. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to stand up for God, even if it meant defying their king and getting thrown into a fiery furnace. They did not know that God would save them from the fire, but they were willing to die for His glory anyway. Because of their faith and willingness, God saved them, and He even appeared with them inside the furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are good examples of why we should stand up for what we believe in. Sometimes, others are going to persecute us for worshipping God. When this happens, we need to stay strong in our faith and remain loyal to God no matter what happens. Though we may never face the threat of being thrown into a literal fire, we are going to face hard times at some point. When we do, we must strive to have faith like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. If we have this kind of faith, we may get knocked down, but through God we will always get back up.
Let’s start the week off with a prayer.
Thank you for this great Bible story. Thank you for what it teaches us about you. Please God help us to be strong in our faith and stand up for you no matter what. Amen.”
-J. Edwards Holt
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.