I was teaching in the 2-3 y/o room today at church. The lesson was on Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego or as the Veggie tale crew like to call them: Rack, Shack and Benny. The lesson was all about having the courage to stand up for what you believe in and trusting that God will protect you from the aftermath. It actually went with Bethany’s devotional from dance which was – what do you risk by following Jesus. In this country we don’t risk much, no one is going to stone us or set our house on fire because we say we are Christians or because we do something that others don’t believe in. For these three boys in a foreign land dominated by idols and those who did not worship God, they had a lot to lose by not bowing down to the king and his idols. But, not only did they not back down from what they knew was the right thing to do, they told the king that God would protect them no matter what. King Nebuchadnezzar was wrong to test them in this and later King Darius should have read the record of what happened before he decided to throw Daniel into the lion’s den…but that’s another story.
In the end, the fire was seven times hotter than normal, the men walked in, a fourth man appeared, the men came out unscathed and the king proclaimed that no other god could save His people the way their God could. People are tested every day and the choices they make show their trust in God or in man. To risk your life is not something that most of us will be asked to do on a daily basis, but yet the Bible says to take up the cross every day, to follow Jesus in times of good and bad, to show others the Light that lives within us. In the fiery flames Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were covered with God’s presence and protected from the deadly heat and flames. They trusted that God would be there and He was. If you are going through a difficult time, a test, a fiery furnace situation, trust God. Trust that if you cry out to Him, He will answer. Trust that if you ask for protection He will provide it, those that call out to Him are not turned away.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
Psalm 5: 11-12
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.