Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t catch a break? You jump from one fire into the next and never seem to get ahead? Our sermon series is from the book of Daniel and we’ve been following the story of Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Today’s sermon finds Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in a bit of a pickle.
King Nebuchadnezzar has established himself as the god above all other gods and is requiring all people to bow down to his idol when the music starts playing. When our 3 boys refuse, some of the religious gurus of the day run to the king to tattle on them. So the king confronts them, wanting to hear it from them and take no one else’s word on the matter.
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “O 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 save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand. O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans, and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.” -Daniel 3:16-21.
The fire was so hot it killed the soldiers putting them into the furnace. But when the king turned around and looked at the furnace, he couldn’t believe what he saw! There were four men walking around in the furnace, the boys singing praises to the one Nebuchadnezzar described as a son of the gods.
Nebuchadnezzar proclaims praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and makes a decree that no one can say anything bad about their God.
When we are going through trials in life and find ourselves enduring the heat of the fire we are walking through, we can be assured that God is with us. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” -Isaiah 43:1-2
Just as the boys’ shackles were removed in the fire, the fires that we go through in life can rid us of the shackles that keep us bound. Unforgiveness and sin can keep us bound of we don’t accept Jesus as our Savior and turn to God. Let God walk beside you in the fires you are walking through. He will help rid you of the impurities.
We don’t know if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that Jesus was with them or not. That’s the way it is with us sometimes, too. We may feel Jesus walking beside us through our trials or we may not even realize he is there. But we can be assured that he is there with us. Don’t be afraid of the furnace. Embrace the fire! God is preparing you for what lies ahead of you. The furnace you’re enduring now may be preparing you to help someone else walk through the same thing. You become a “post-fire” witness and this can be powerful!
There will be haters. There will be heat. There will be help from God. Let the fire do it’s work, trusting God is with you the entire time.
I love a good sermon! Knowing that God has been with me through the tough times has been my source of strength. I am thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus made on my behalf. I continue to learn more about the gospel story as I listen to sermons and read my Bible daily. Gratitude that I don’t get what I deserve, but what a forgiving Father has offered. There is nothing that you have done so bad that you can’t be forgiven. Ask. Seek. Knock.