Daniel 3 has always been a favorite yet unusual chapter in the Bible to me.
But it took VeggieTales to make the truth of the story it contains come to life in a fresh way. And I have always associated it with the Easter story (thanks to “the bunny, the bunny, oh I love the bunny”) even though it is historically documented in the Old Testament.
Rack, Shaq & Benny (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Bible) refuse to bow down to a golden idol that King Nebuchadnezzar had made of himself, as the trio will only worship the One God, the God of Israel.
And even when King N threatens to throw them into the fire if they refused, they hold fast, replying:
“Your threat means nothing to us. If you throw us in the fire, the God we serve can rescue us from your roaring furnace and anything else you might cook up, O king. But even if He doesn’t, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, O king. We still wouldn’t serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18 MSG)
They so infuriate King N he has them thrown into an extra hot furnace (which cost him the guards who put Rack, Shaq & Benny in the fire.)
And the unexpected happened. Not only were they seen with their bindings removed, walking around unharmed, THERE WAS ANOTHER IN THE FIRE walking with them, looking like a “son of the gods” to King N.
The sight of this caused King N to call Rack, Shaq & Benny out of the fire (not one hair or clothing item smelled like fire!) and to pronounce the trio servants of the Most High God. But King N didn’t stop there. he released an edict that no one was to speak ill of this God upon fear of painful death. And promoted the trio in Babylon government.
Sometimes, we don’t see the big picture of what will happen when we put our trust in God, and obey. Even in Gethsemane, Jesus prayed for the Father to take the cup of crucifixion away, but not his (human) will, but God’s will be done.
There are situations all of us encounter where we have the opportunity to invite God to walk closely beside us as we walk through them. And if I am honest, I would often prefer them to be taken from me versus living them out.
Even if He doesn’t, I will still praise Him.
I have a peace about my upcoming major surgery which could only come from Him. My previous one was THE most physical pain I have ever experienced, yet God held me moment by moment that long night through the error of no pain medication initially being administered once my anesthesia wore off. His presence with me took the edge of my pain off to help me hold it together until the doctor saw me first thing the next morning and immediately fixed the error.
Yet I have no fear, because I know He is near. And if it were to happen again, He would be right there again to hold me through it.
People have asked me if I believe God could heal me so i don’t need this surgery. And I wholeheartedly believe He can, for I know He is willing. Should it not happen before my surgery date, I will still praise Him.
For my faith is not based on His giving me what I think I need for my best, but accepting that He has plans for my good, for my best future, and that He will be my living Hope along the way, come what may.
#anotherinthefire #faithinaction #sharingHope