Connecting Business & Professionals To God Innar banner


Key Funding Opportunities Bottom Image

Embracing Life in the Fire

Embracing life

July 1st, 2023

In Daniel 3, we hear the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar had created an image of gold and instructed the people to fall down and worship it with this warning… Those who did not worship the idol would be thrown into a blazing furnace.

In Daniel 1, we learned that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not followers. Along with Daniel, they had taken a stand and, unknown to King Nebuchadnezzar, they had refused to eat the choice food and wine from his table. Fast-forward to the king’s new golden idol, and these men would stand again. This time their stand would be visible and obvious to the king.

In Daniel 3:12, the astrologers expose Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for their lack of worship. “But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Nebuchadnezzar is enraged and brings the men before him, confronting them with the blazing furnace, to which they reply in Daniel 3: 16-18, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Nebuchadnezzar’s rage grew, and he ordered the furnace to be heated to seven times its normal temperature. Then, the three men we bound and thrown into the furnace – into flames so hot that the soldiers who put them inside were killed.

What happens next is the reason for writing this post… In Daniel 3:24, we read, “Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 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.”

Nebuchadnezzar is amazed and has the men released from the furnace. They exit unharmed, and scripture tells us that “the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.”

This story brings us three truths we can all embrace today as men…

  1. We will be asked to bow down to idols. You and I experience this every day. Our idols may not be golden or brought to us by kings, but there are temptations around every corner trying to lure us into bowing down. Our careers and businesses can become idols, and even our marriages and children can become idols. When we take God down off the pedestal and replace him there, we worship idols in our lives – and this can be a very easy trap to fall into.
  1. Sometimes, not bowing down will land us in the furnace. It can come with challenges and friction when we resist worshiping the idols that culture brings us. It can feel like we are choosing to step into the fire when we choose not to worship the things of this world. Standing on our faith and choosing God over culture can be very uncomfortable, especially today.
  1. We can have confidence knowing that Jesus stands in the furnace beside us. Where idols and division and friction abound, the one thing we can lean into with confidence is this: We are not alone. No matter what fire we find ourselves in or how hot the world cranks up the temperature, we can stand firm, knowing that God is in control. The idols will not last – but God will, and that’s where we put our faith.

We are called to stand as leaders, husbands, fathers, and men in our churches. We are called not to bow to idols but to keep our eyes and our worship on the one true God who stands with us in the fire. When we do that and exhibit that level of confidence to the world we live in, we can have the same impact that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had.

Daniel 3:28-29 shares that impact with us. “Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! 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. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”