Hananiah looked up at the gold covered pole that slightly resembled a person with no shoulders. “What are they going to do with that?”
Azariah shrugged his shoulders. “I hope they don’t make us try to eat it.”
Mishael chuckled. “Looks like they’re getting ready to make an announcement over there.”
A man climbed on a podium. “Listen to King Nebuchadnezzar’s decree all you peoples, nations and tongues. At the sound of the music everybody must bow to the gold image as we dedicate it today.”
Hananiah leaned toward his friends. “I don’t know why. The first good storm will blow it over.”
The man continued. “Anybody refusing to bow down to the image at the sound of the orchestra will be thrown into the furnace.”
Azariah looked at his friends. “Anybody feel like toast?”
Mishael smiled. “You mean to eat, or to be?”
The music started.
Hananiah stood tall. “We’re about to find out.”
Azariah looked around, then at the pole. “I was wondering if the gold went all the way to the ground. I can see it clearly now.”
Mishael pointed at the furnace. “Looks like we’ll all fit in the big bad furnace.”
Hananiah looked around. “Looks like there won’t be anybody joining us. Daniel must be out-of-town. He would have loved this showdown.”
When the music stopped everybody stood. Two men from behind the three Judeans ran to the king.
A few minutes later some guards came up to them. “The king would like a word with you three.”
Azariah looked at them. “We had a feeling you were going to say that.”
The group walked up to where King Nebuchadnezzar was seated.
The king looked at them one by one. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, I hear you refused to bow to the image I set up in the plain of Dura. I know you’d like to continue to serve me in my kingdom. I will have the music played again so you can relent and bow while I watch you. Otherwise you leave me no choice but to throw you into the fiery furnace.”
Hananiah stepped forward. “You can save the orchestra the effort King Nebuchadnezzar. We will not bow to an inanimate object while there is a real God in heaven we answer to. He is able to save us from your furnace if He chooses, but, even if He doesn’t we will not bow to your post of gold.”
Nebuchadnezzar stood. His face reddened as his fists clenched. “I will have the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual for you insubordinates. You’ll see that your God can not overcome my demands.”
The three men were led to the furnace by the biggest guards. As they approached the furnace the guards shielded their faces from the heat. Then they fell as the heat overtook them. Their clothes caught on fire as the three men watched.
Azariah looked at his friends. “Do you guys feel any heat?”
Hananiah shrugged. “No, I’m good.”
Mishael looked at the king, then at his friends. “What do we do now?”
Azariah stared into the furnace. “I say we see what that guy in the furnace wants.”
The three men walked into the furnace and bowed at the feet of Jesus.
Talk about three stubborn dudes who don’t when they’re in over their heads. Now I know what happens when God gets a hold of somebody with the tenacity of a pit bull. They just don’t let go of their beliefs.
They must have gotten it from their ancestors. You know, the people Moses kept referring to as “stiff-necked.” The problem with them was their necks were stuck looking backward at Egypt as God was leading them to their new homes.
Reminds me of another man in the New Testament who was all gung-ho with whatever he decided to do with his life.
We first meet up with him as he guards the coats of some men so they could get better velocity on the stones they threw at Stephen.
Then, as he sees the light of Jesus on his way to Damascus, Saul succumbs to his new master. The Apostle Paul would spend the rest of his life spreading the message of Jesus’ sacrifice for all mankind.
No amount of hardship or persecution would keep Paul from his mission; not whippings, stonings, shipwrecks, hunger or arrest.
Do you have that type of tenacity for Jesus? Has your relationship with Him developed to the point of you being willing to stand against incredible odds to live for Him?
It may come to that in your life. He will honor you if you honor Him.
You may not live through your fiery ordeal like the three men in today’s lesson did. They didn’t know that they would survive at that time. They only knew what they knew was true. God is alive and well, and, there’s no other god but Him.
They couldn’t be convinced otherwise. No matter how many others around them didn’t believe the way they did. They only knew what they knew was true.
Do you know what’s true? No, not the shifting definition of today’s society. They’ll tell you everybody has their own truth. Don’t believe them.
True truth will only be found in the Bible. God stopped having people write anything else in it because He never changes. His word stays the same. There’s not even a shadow of turning with Him.
I pray you see the same light of Jesus that Saul did. He was never the same and neither will you be.
Spend time in the Bible on a regular basis. The truths will be real. Believe them with your whole heart. They’ll set you free from this world’s grip.
You’ll find that living in this world without Jesus is useless. If taking a stand for Him cost you your earthly life then you can start the next phase of your life in His presence.
Give Him your life today. He’ll honor you if you honor Him.
I’ll see you later. Wade