All of us need to pray for strength that only God can give to everyone through His word. As all of us have bravely faced so many problems yesterday, today or they will be known in the future when we so desperately need God. With more violence and hostility occurring locally and abroad, we try each day, to cope with God’s help. Can God grant us favor when doors are slammed shut in our faces? We must desire more of Him and less of ourselves as we are striving to win battles. We need more wisdom and understanding from God.
Are our prayers answered and miracles discerned in blazing furnace experiences? Are there escapes without the smell of smoke or visible burns? It is so important for others to see us as Christians not bowing to the worldly solutions to solve problems. As Believers we must try to walk with God day-by-day, and then when fiery furnace threats confront us, we will remember what God expects of us! Such experiences will strengthen our faith in the same God who saved Daniel and his three Hebrew friends. Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego paid no attention to King Nebuchadnezzar’s rules! They never served his gods nor did they worship the golden image that he set up.
How did they escape harsh punishment and death? Did our God intervene? As we read the book of Daniel, we learn of several escapes from dangerous fiery situations that could not have been avoided without God’s help! Undoubtedly prayers were rendered and answered on time.
God can always provide opportunities for us to see Him when our total submission is needed. These Hebrews could have argued that faith in God and worldly demands must be separate. These men, like most of us, were too well informed biblically to have remained neutral. Perhaps they remembered the First Commandment which states: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3). Think of times when we might have feared earthly authority. They knew that God’s word took precedence over Nebuchadnezzar’s threats! Even when we find ourselves in a new or foreign situation, we must remember that we will be judged by divine standards. Notice that in the story before us, there was no review board or chance to appeal. How did these Hebrews answer King Nebuchadnezzar’s threats of punishment in Daniel 3?
They needed no conference or vote on whether they would obey God. With no rehearsal or objection and no fear of rejection by the king, these powerful statements were uttered to him: “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.” (Daniel 3:16-18 NIV).
Flashback to the main question, “What god can deliver you from my hand?” Their bold answer was, “our God is able to deliver us…” This answer had no hesitation because Satan had no loopholes to plant any doubts in their minds about their comfort and safety. In our world, people do not need to see Christians bowing to idols.
How can the story help us today? As Christians we need to understand that God wants our obedience and loyalty. So the Hebrews acknowledged that even if God did not deliver them from the furnace, they still would not bow to the king’s orders. It is important for us as believers to walk with God day-by-day and to watch him accomplish great things through us. Having a history with God allows us to remember great miracles in our own lives as well as the experiences of others. Presently, or later, we’ll remember what God did yesterday that will strengthen our faith in the same God today and tomorrow because of everything that happens!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.