Facing the Fiery Furnace by Nancy Vandemark

One of my favorite examples of faith is alluded to in Hebrews 11:34. That is the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from Daniel 3.

King Nebuchadnezzar had made an image of gold. A law was passed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace" (Daniel 3:4-6).

Every day, we have to make choices to follow God. While we may not face a fiery furnace, we may face loss of friends, family, health or jobs. What I liked about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, was the fact it did not matter what loss they faced. Let’s continue with the story.

Some astrologers, perhaps with a little jealousy, pointed out to King Nebuchadnezzar that the Jews were not following the law. “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, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:12).

Fiery FurnaceShadrach, Meshach and Abednego did not deny it when they were brought before the king. As he threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace, the king asked them what god could possible rescue them.

Their answer: “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. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Daniel 3:16-18).

They knew that God was powerful enough to save them. They also acknowledged it is not always God’s will to rescue us in our trials. With faith, they obeyed God and submitted to his will.

I have faced trials of varying degrees in my life. I usually can think of the way I would like God to rescue me. On the big trials, I always try to remember what Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said. They acknowledged God’s power to save them. They may have thought they would like being rescued by God quenching the flames. Facing the fiery furnace, they were ready to face the worse outcome, death, to obey him.

In my trials, I acknowledge God’s power to help me, but remember to submit to his will. Often he does not rescue me the way that I think of, but I still make it through my own fiery furnace.


Volume 8 Issue 8 | Notes from Nancy | Women in Christ Commentary | Bible Study Guide | Abundance of the Heart | Exhortation | Book Review

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