by Terry J. Hallock

Who's That with You in the Fire
T. J. Hallock
Daniel 3:19-30
August 3, 2003

Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Nebuchadnezzar had built an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in Babylon. He had gathered all the political and cultural leaders of Babylon and ordered that when they heard the sound of the horn they were to bow down and worship the golden image. Whoever refused would be thrown in to the furnace.After that edict astrologers came to Nebuchadnezzar and reported that three Jews whom the King had appointed as administrators over the province of Babylon - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - refused to bow down and worship the image or any of the other gods of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar summoned the three to the royal court and demanded that they obey or be burned. This was their reply. "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] Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the furnace be heated to seven times hotter than usual, commanded his strongest soldiers to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and thrown them into the blazing fire where surely they would die.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego worked for the King of Babylon but served the God of Israel. It was inevitable that a clash would occur between the call of God on their lives and the commands of their secular king and they could not obey both. Either Jehovah was sovereign or Nebuchadnezzar was. Which ever choice they made -- to serve God or obey the king -- that choice would come with a price. They chose the fire.

We live in a world that increases its antipathy for followers of Jesus Christ d ...

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