Daily Reading 10-24-17
Daniel 3:19-30 New Living Translation (NLT)
As followers of the Most High God, we are to have no other gods—nothing more important in our lives. The world will always seek to woo us from our complete devotion to God; many false gods—idolatry—will seek to own us. The enemy knows if we remain committed to the abiding presence of God, we have power over the things of this world. God is the creator of the heavens and the earth, so nothing is beyond His reach, love, or power.
In our lesson today from Daniel, we will pick up the end of a very interesting story about King Nebuchadnessar of Babylon and three Jewish exiles by the names of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnessar had a problem with pride and he wanted to be worshiped. He built a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and commanded all the inhabitance of Babylon to bow down and worship it. He set forth a decree that if anyone refused to worship the statue, they would find themselves thrown into a blazing furnace. These three Hebrew young men, refused to worship the statue above the Most High God.
As you read our passage, keep in mind the extraordinary love and care given to these three young men. God himself came to be with them; to love them and to save them. When they were released from the furnace, there was no outward evidence of their experience. But, they knew God had come to walk with them and they would never be
afraid of anything again. King Nebuchadnessar learned a good lesson, too.
Daniel 3:19-30 The Blazing Furnace
19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.
24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.
Prayer: Lord, when I go through fiery trials that test my devotion, help me to remain faithful. Be with me and let me experience you walking with me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.