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Day 11 Dancing in the Fire: Who Can Deliver Like This?

“Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.” Daniel 3:21 NKJV


Burned for their refusal to serve a pagan king and his gods; burned for refusing to bow down in worship to a golden idol; basically, three Israelites, given Babylonian names, were burned by evil for being faithful, loyal, and obedient to their One God. No sacrifice for Him was too small, including the sacrifice of their lives, for while they had faith in His ability to deliver them from the blazing fire, they also were secure enough in their relationship with Him, that even should they perish in the great conflagration, their God was still the only God they would worship! (see Daniel 3:17-18).


Have you ever been “burned” for your beliefs? “Torched” and ridiculed for your own love for God while others scoffed at you, calling religion a crutch, or claiming that Jesus was a mere teacher, not a Savior? Have you ever been denied access to the freedom of worship because it simply was not “politically correct” or socially acceptable? Have you felt the flaming anger of loved ones who do not understand that you believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven, and that earth is simply a place for you to serve Him in Spirit and in Truth?


If you can answer “yes” to any of those questions, then you have felt the fiery darts of the enemy. But have you truly faced the flaming furnace into which Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (their Hebrew names), were thrown? All seemed lost, save for a miracle from the Almighty God of Wonders.


Read today’s Scripture verse again and note how the three faithful followers were dressed. They had on just about every stitch of clothing they owned, which only served to increase the speed of the spreading of the flames. The only thing missing was an accelerant, such as anointing oil. King Nebuchadnezzar wanted that furnace as hot as possible (“seven times more than it was usually heated.” Daniel 3:19b), and he wanted those men to fry quickly.


However, the unseen spiritual wind blowing on the king’s mighty fire turned even more quickly, as his own men were scorched to death by the “exceedingly hot” flames of the furnace. What’s more, as Nebuchadnezzar gazed into the furnace (presumably from a rather safe distance) he noticed not just the three faithful Israelites walking around in the inferno, but he noticed something else…Someone else…


“’Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?...Look!...I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’” Daniel 3:24b, 25 NKJV


Oh how glorious the revelation when a dire skeptic realizes the truth of the existence of God, and how even more joyous when they see – and outwardly acknowledge - His mighty works in action!


Allow me two quick tie-ins to previous lessons for this Pentecost season. The mysterious “Fourth Man”, whom even a pagan king recognized as the Son of God (who had not yet come to earth in the flesh!) was “in the midst of the fire.”


The pre-Incarnate Jesus, walking with the three loyal worshippers of Yahweh, was in their midst and in the fire, surrounded by flames just as they were, part of the intense heat of the fiery pit; just as God was face to face with Moses in the burning-yet-not consumed bush, Jesus was there, yet not consumed by the fire. And just as Moses removed his shoes in order to stand on holy ground, this furnace of a ruthless king became a place for the righteous, holy presence of the Lord. Furthermore, although this fire-trap was set ablaze to punish, it stands forever as another blazingly beautiful example of the eternal fire of His glorious Presence that was mentioned yesterday.


One last theological kick, if you don’t mind. The furnace was not a trial by fire for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They had already passed their fiery test of obedience by refusing to bow down to the king or his idols in the first place. The furnace was the king’s (non-believers’) judgment, not God’s. The appearance of Jesus, walking around – shall we say, dancing in the fire? - with the courageous young men was a sign for the naysayers, doubters, skeptics, heathens, and leaders who think they are above all else, for even the terrorizing Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed, after he had “rescued” the men (only three came out by the way) from his own fiery inferno:


“’There is no other God who can deliver like this.’” Daniel 3:29c NKJV


Amen to that!



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