Alone in the Fire?

standing in the fireRead: Daniel 3:19-30

S

Daniel 3:25 (NLT) “Look! Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire. They aren’t even hurt by the flames! And the fourth looks like a divine being!”

O

1.    Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, renamed these four men after gods he worshiped, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Belteshazzar. Daniel was the one renamed Belteshazzar. Much like today, we are given names which do not reflect who we are in Christ. Today many are named after manmade gods, such as rich, sexy, famous, important, or anything that we prize over the one true God.

2.    All four were the “spoils of war” and selected to serve in the royal palace.

3.    Three were being killed for their refusal to worship a manmade god.

4.    Nebuchadnezzar reacted with extreme anger. After he saw the three with a “divine being” in the fire, he said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!” He then promoted them.

A

Through my wife, an elementary teacher at a Christian school, I had another opportunity to learn from the book Hatchet which she is having her students read. The book is about a teenage boy’s survival through both personal and physical hardships. The divorce of his parents, a plane crash, and then having to endure the harsh conditions of survival on an island all by himself. My wife chooses to use this book to illustrate God’s perfect prevenient grace, timing, unconditional love, as well as the need for forgiveness.

My wife gets so excited about how she gets to help her students discuss, and hopefully understand, how this book illustrates that even though we have personal and physical pain in our life, that we still have an opportunity to recognize God’s grace, His unconditional love, our choice to accept Him, and the need to ask for His forgiveness as well as the need to forgive others.

It is easier to praise God in the fire when we can see Him right next to us. It is a truer test of our faith to praise Him when the flames are all around us, we can’t see our way out, and think we are alone in the fire.

P

Loving Father. In or out of the fire, You have never left my side. Forgive me when I seek to identity myself by Your gifts, instead of who I am in You. When the flames are turned up, help me to always trust that You are still with me, even when I can’t see You through the enemy’s smoke. In Your name I pray. Amen.
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