Daily Devotion for December 5, 2016

'Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego'

Daniel 3:1, 4-6, 8, 12-18 NAS
(1,4-6) Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits andits width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
(8) ...certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges against the Jews. (12)“There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
(13-18) Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego...and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? ...If you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up”...

(Taken from Awana teaching plans) “Even though they were young men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego understood an important truth about God: God does not always save His people from dangerous situations. Surely their experiences had taught them this. During the exile, they had likely seen many of their Jewish relatives and neighbors starve to death or die by the sword of the Babylonians. Others were taken captive like they were. Of course, the exile was Israel's punishment for disobedience, but Shadrach and his friends knew that obedience to God did not necessarily bring protection from trouble.” Matter of fact, these three knew that “many of God's faithful prophets were killed for delivering His message to the people.” So why did Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego do what they did? Let's take a look...

When these three young men refused to bow down and serve other gods, they showed that they clearly understood one truth: that “The LORD is the true God; He is the living God, the eternal King,” and the one and only God (Jeremiah 10:10). Lord, help us believers bow down and worship only You! May what we say/think/plan/do/NOT do clearly SHOW that You are the only God!
“When King Nebuchadnezzar threatened the three men with the fiery furnace, they showed confidence in God's power to save them, but they did not assume that He would” (see Daniel 3:14-18). Moreover, they understood that doing what was right “didn't get them immunity from trouble” (see Matthew 5:44, John 16:33),. These three men chose to DO God's will and simply trust in Him (But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14). Lord, help us Believers to do Your will as well—no matter what the consequence! Give us right desire to obey and follow Your Word and Spirit (because You are our God—the one and only God!) and we trust in You at all times...
3) The spectacular ending to this story (if you don't know it, go back and read Daniel 3!) serves to remind us that God is always WITH us—even in the fire! Yes, His presence reminds us that 1) He loves us, 2) He gives us life (John 10:10) 3) He gives us strength to do His will (Philippians4:13), and 4) He is working all things out for His glory and our best good (Romans 8:28)...

Lord, we thank you today for Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego's story. May we be powerfully reminded today that 1) You are the One true God—worthy of ALL our worship and praise, 2) we can “trust in You” even when the going gets tough, and 3) You are always WITH us! Knowing these truths, we can confidently stand as they did—we may not know the earthly outcome, but we SURE of the eternal one!


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