to glorify God... one thought at a time

to glorify God... one thought at a time

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fiery Trials (part 6)

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

How quickly the tables turn.  We discussed last time how important it is to be careful of who we associate with.  Remember, if someone treats others poorly, they will eventually turn on you.  Our king Nebuchadnezzar was just fine with our boys until his boys ratted them out for not bowing to the image.  Just like that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were put on trial so to speak.  He, I am sure, expected the three to bow as he explained the rules once again, just in case they missed them.  Verse 19 says "Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego."

The king got so angry, he ordered his men to turn the heat up seven times hotter than normal.  This blaze was so hot that the men who brought them up to the entry were killed by the heat.  So there went our three friends, fully trusting God and His will.  Of course, in true God fashion, the heat didn't matter, nor did the fire for that matter.  The king watched as the four men walked through the fiery furnace.  Wait!  Did I just say four?  You bet I did, and if you can't figure out who the fourth one is call me, we'll talk. :)

The king, amazed by what he saw, called the men out of the furnace.  Imagine his surprise to see that not a hair on their heads were singed.  Nothing was wrong with them.  These three men were put in a furnace.  A furnace so hot, mind you, that it killed the men who brought them to the door, yet not an ash was seen on them.  God is good!  Verse 28 says "Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God."  Did you get that?  Blessed be the God of...  He just said blessed be God!  Our drama king then went on to make another decree stating that if anyone speaks badly about God, they will be torn limb from limb in true Nebuchadnezzar fashion, but he seems to be getting the picture. 

I pray that you get the point.  These three men stood firm before a king.  They told him of their convictions and stood by them.  They accepted the consequence without a fight and yet came out of a blazing hot furnace unscathed.  They let God do the fighting.  This is where the verse "Be still and know that I am God" comes in handy.  The words penned in Psalm 46 are telling us to stop and to let it go.  God wants us to trust Him in our trial with everything, not just the details but the outcome and the judgement.

I watched sadly yesterday as a young man, who is completely lost, mock a courtroom and his victims families.  My heart is broken for all that are affected.  It was so hard to hear the families address the young man who stood waiting for his sentence.  The pain in their voices made it apparent that the healing had a long way to go.  It's almost as if the actions caused wounds to be torn open as acid was dripped inside.  Let me tell you all there is an enemy and we will have trials.  It's what we do in those trials that paves our walk.

I pray for the families involved to be able to begin to heal.  I pray that they believe justice was served.  I pray the young man will have sorrow for what he had done.  I know that there will be a final judgment for the guilty one, however, don't forget that we all must stand trial one day.  What we do with our trials and how we respond toward God and the ones who hurt us does matter.  The three fire walkers could have cursed God as they were thrown into the blaze yet they didn't.  They walked the trial with God and allowed Him to decide the judgement.

I don't know where you are right now.  Some of you are walking some pretty tough roads.  This is when it's hardest to be Christian.  This is when we want to react, but this is when God seems to be saying "Be still and let me fight this fight.  You just walk with me and I won't let you be harmed"  Imagine if we did this, how many people would turn toward our God.  How many people would praise the God of (your name here).