Posts Tagged ‘Abednego’


Wrapped in blankets in my grandparents’ pickup, I watched as fire consumed our home. My father says I slept soundly as he carried my brother and me and our puppies out to safety. When I woke up and saw the huge blaze, I was already safe. I was too curious and too young to be scared.

I remember several things from that night. Even inside the truck, the heat was intense and the fire was mesmerizing. I remember too the fear on the faces of everyone else, checking and re-checking to see if loved ones were safe. Later I learned that in the chaos my father raced into the fire to look for my grandfather, which prompted my grandfather (who was not inside the house) to race in to get my father. Their courage affected all who saw it that night.

I’m reminded of that fire every time I read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. When challenged with the decree to bow to the king or face execution (Dan. 3:10-12), these three bravely faced the fire for the One they loved (vv.16-18). And the Lord stood with them in the flames (v.25).

When life’s “flames” test us, may those who observe our choices recognize our love for each other and for our God.

For Further Thought Read more of Daniel and his friends in Daniel 1–3. How do their lives encourage you to stand firm for God? Ask the Lord to help you make courageous choices today.
Trials are the soil in which faith grows.

Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, ‘Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!’ So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” — Daniel 3:26–27

In a dramatic scene in the book of Daniel, Daniel’s friends were put to the test. King Nebuchadnezzar built a statue and commanded everyone to bow down to it. A trouble-maker suggested that there were Jewish men who would refuse to do so.

So, the king called upon Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who predictably refused to bow down to the idol. Nebuchadnezzar was furious and threatened the men with their lives. Still, they remained adamant which only increased the king’s fury.

Finally, he commanded that the men be thrown into the furnace, and just for added agony, he decreed that the furnace be made seven times hotter than usual. The flames were so intense that the servants charged with placing the men in the fire were killed doing their job. Yet miraculously, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego remained completely unscathed. Not one hair singed.

Jewish tradition tells us that the three friends had the courage to face the fiery furnace because they were inspired by the frogs in the second plague that God brought against Egypt. They reasoned if the frog, in obedience to God’s will, could leave their cool, wet habitat and leap into the hot, dry ovens of Egypt, they would be obedient as well.

There is a beautiful story that went around the Internet about a young woman and her first rock climb. Half-way up, Brenda’s contact lens gets knocked out of her eye. She tries hard, but can’t find it. She climbs the rest of the mountain with blurry eyes. When she gets to the top, Brenda sends a heartfelt prayer to God:  “Lord, you can see everything. You know every stone and leaf and you know where my lens is. Please help me find it.”

As Brenda makes her way down the mountain she can hardly believe it when she hears someone shouting, “Anyone lose a contact lens?” The man explains that he found the lens because an ant was climbing slowly in front of him carrying the lens on his back.

When Brenda arrives home she tells her cartoonist father her story. He draws an ant carrying a contact lens and adds the following caption: “Lord, I don’t know why you want me to carry this thing. It’s heavy and I can’t eat it. But if this is what You want me to do, then I’ll carry it for You.”

We can learn a thing or two from the ant, the frogs, and Daniel’s friends. Sometimes in life we are given a heavy burden to bear. It’s hard and we can’t always see the point. But we need to be strong and say, “For you God, I’ll carry this burden.” He might just carry yours too.

http://www.holylandmoments.org/devotionals/for-you-god-anything


“Be it known…that we will not.” Da 3:18

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had achieved career success, so they had nothing to gain by challenging the king of Babylon. So, why did they? Because he ordered them to disobey God and violate their convictions by bowing down in worship before a pagan image. No doubt they could have reasoned, “Better a live dog than a dead lion. If we stay alive, maybe we can do good for God and for others.” That philosophy would have convinced many of us, so why not them? Because they realized that Nebuchadnezzar was not the reason for their success. He may have been an instrument God used to promote them, but he was not the source of either their significance or their security. Those two things came from God—and they understood that you can’t abandon the principles of God and walk in the blessings of God. You don’t grieve the One who controls everything, just to get along with those who think they control everything. There will always be those who think they know what you should do. But these three Hebrew boys knew better: “Our God whom we serve is able” (v.17). Able to do what? “Able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph 3:20 NKJV). By refusing to bow, when bowing seemed like the expedient thing to do, they turned the hearts of a nation to God. Now, your influence may not be that widespread, but one thing you can count on: others are watching who will be influenced by the stand you take. So ask God to strengthen you, and do the right thing!

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/doing-the-right-thing-2/

 


“Be it known…that we will not.” Da 3:18

The higher you climb in life, the more certain people will try to assert control over you. Their threats can sound real, and the consequences of ignoring them, intimidating. Look at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Their commitment to God landed them in a fiery furnace heated seven times over. But it also promoted them to a place of great blessing and influence. Their story teaches us that for something to be an authentic test of character, it must be a situation in which the outcome is not in your hands. You simply make the choice to do what is right before God and leave the consequences to Him. It’s a trial by fire, but it’s a fire of refinement, and on the other side of it you come out stronger. Each time you do the right thing, choosing to embrace rather than escape the path God has called you to walk, you enter a new level of freedom. And as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego discovered, three things happen: (1) You are set free from the “Nebuchadnezzars” who claim to have control over the outcomes of your life. (2) You are set free to say no to those who would try to use and manipulate you. (3) You are set free to serve your all-powerful King and say no to all the other pretenders who really have no power over you at all. In that moment you not only gain insight into who you are, but more importantly, Whose you are. And God will do one of two things: develop you in the fiery furnace, or deliver you from it. Indeed, He may do both!

http://theencouragingword.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/doing-the-right-thing-1/