What is one of your favorite Bible stories from childhood? I’ve always loved the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego [Daniel 3:1-30]. When my children were little, they loved the Veggie Tales version of it, Rack, Shack and Benny. They particularly liked it when King Nebuchadnezzar sees four people in the fiery furnace and asks his associate about it.
While we laugh every time we think of the Veggie Tale version, the thing we cannot afford to miss whether reading it from Scripture or watching the cartoon version is God’s faithfulness. He didn’t abandon Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were proud to acknowledge God and remain faithful to Him and He remained faithful to them. Even though they lived before Jesus was born, they clearly understood what Jesus tried to teach in Luke 9:23-26 “Then He said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
In a love relationship faithfulness is critical from all parties involved. Jesus has proven in His Word and in His actions that He is faithful to us. Have we proven our faithfulness to Him? Are our words honoring to Him and those He calls us to love? Are our actions bringing glory to His name? What would our response be if we were put to the test like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?
In Daniel 3:26b-27, King Nebuchadnezzar is blown away by the faithfulness of God. He witnessed first-hand how the fire had not harmed Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego in any way. Their bodies weren’t harmed, their hair wasn’t singed, their robes weren’t scorched and they didn’t even smell like smoke. Can you imagine?
The beautiful thing about this story, the thing we need to hold onto during our times of trouble, is God didn’t just provide for their safety and rescue them from harm He was in the midst of the fire with them. They were not alone, because He stood with them. He reminds us in Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 and Joshua 1:5 that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Those aren’t just words. Those words are a promise we can hold onto no matter what kind of fire we find ourselves thrown into.