“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it.”  Daniel 3:17 –

The scene: Babylon – 6th century BC – King Nebuchadnezzar besieges and defeats Jerusalem. To prove his power over the nation of Judah, he deports 10,000 of the young, rich and wise to Babylon. Among those exiled are Daniel and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Nebuchadnezzar, in a display of pride and power, sets up a towering gold idol 90 feet tall on the plain of Dura. He issues a command for everyone to bow and worship before it or be thrown into a blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to bow before anyone or anything except the one true God.

King Nebuchadnezzar is furious that these young men would dare to defy his command… and orders that the furnace be heated to seven times its normal temperature. The heat is so intense that the soldiers who throw Daniel’s three friends, bound and tied, into the fiery furnace are killed.

“Look! 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.”  Daniel 3:25

Amazed at this sight, the king demands to know why, if only three men were thrown into the blaze, there are four walking free through the fire… and one appearing as the Son of God?!

Nebuchadnezzar calls to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to come out of the blazing furnace. The three walk out, unbound and unharmed, their clothes intact, with no scent of smoke upon them. What a miraculous deliverance!

“They trusted in Him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”  Daniel 3:28

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego meet their Rescuer… the Son of God… the preincarnate Christ… in the blazing furnace. He is the fourth in the fiery blaze. The One who was there at the creation of the world. The One who always was and always will be. The One who is their Deliverer comes through for them as they resolutely stand faithful and loyal to God.

“When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”  Isaiah 43:2-3

The Christian walk is never without trials. We are not promised that. A prevalent misconception is that when a person becomes a Christian, life will be peaceful, prosperous and secure. Yet we live in a fallen world. Life will not be perfect until we reach our heavenly home.

Like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we can be strong and true to God in our trials. When we stand for Him in this world, we will have trouble. These biblical heroes choose to not bow to any idol. Even as their royal positions, their secure futures, their very lives are on the line… yet they remain faithful. We too can refuse to worship the worldly gods of power, possessions and security. Our loyalty is to God alone.

When fiery trials come our way, we can trust that our Lord will never give up on us. Jesus promises to be with us in difficult times. In His sovereign wisdom, He may choose to deliver us… or He may walk into the fire with us… and be by our side throughout the fiery trial. We may not know the eternal reasons for our trials. Yet we can trust the One in whom our future rests.