Are you ready for some good news?
When the Babylonian king turned the heat up on Daniel’s friends, it backfired on the tyrant – literally!
In Daniel 3, when Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego refused to bow down to Nebuchadnezzar’s big idol, the king was so enraged that he not only threw the trio into the fiery furnace but also made his minions heat the furnace seven times hotter than usual. When the minions opened the furnace to execute the men of God, the super-heated oven flung out a flame and killed the pagan servants.
God has a way of turning hell’s flames back onto itself. If your life feels a bit overheated at the moment, maybe God’s setting up a big backfire explosion against the darkness!
Daniel’s friends’ resistance to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol worship edict is not only inspiring, it’s also instructive. The conversation between the Babylonian tyrant and the men of God went something like this:
King Nebuchadnezzar: “Will you bow down?”
Men of God: “No thank you.”
King: “How dare you defy my order – do you not realize that I can snuff out your life with a motion of my finger, with a glance of my eye, with the nod of my hand.”
Men of God: “We don’t even need to talk to you about it. There is nothing to talk about. Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
Here is a theology you can build your life upon:
Our God can, our God will,
but no matter what, we’ll praise Him still.
Our God is able to do all things. Our God wills only good things for His children, but He is God, and His ways are not my ways. So, I can’t make Him do it my way.
In essence, the men said: Our God is mightier than your fire and He can deliver us. Our God is so good that we believe He will deliver us. But, we tell you this, Nebuchadnezzar, whether the fire burns our bodies or does not, God will still be God, and your statue will still be standing there with no breath. Whether we live or die in the fire won’t change the fact that God is on His throne.
Don’t worry. When you have to say no to the idols of this world, God can deliver you from whatever persecution may arise. He has a way of making it all backfire on the enemy. But, even if God doesn’t do it the way you want, He’s still God. And He’s still good. And that’s the Gospel!