It takes maturity, confidence, and faith to put our whole lives in God's hands, even up to our deaths.
[Darris McNeely] Recently, one of my students came to me as we were going through the Book of Daniel, and he said, "You know, after a few chapters of the Book of Daniel in this class, I realize there's more to Daniel than just a few Sabbath school stories for children." I said, "Exactly right. There's a whole lot more to it." There's prophecy, there's history, there's Christian living. It's one of the unique stories in all of the Bible. Probably the most interesting section that has been on my mind of late as I went through it recently is in Daniel 3. The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as they were thrown into the fiery furnace.
Now, that might seem like a kind of mild story and one that is often told in classes with young children, but it has quite adult themes and it's quite profound. As they would not bow down to the idol that King Nebuchadnezzar set up and demanded everyone pay homage and obedience to, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not do it. They were then bound and were going to be thrown into the fiery furnace when, in a sense, Nebuchadnezzar gave them one more opportunity to do what he asked and bow down. And they answered to him and they said, "Okay, here's our answer in this matter." Verse 17 of Daniel 3. "If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us from your hand, O king."
They had confidence that God could deliver them, that he was more powerful than King Nebuchadnezzar. Verse 18, though, they say, "But if not. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up." And so even if they were not spared, if by being thrown in, they were consumed by the flames, they were not going to disobey God. They had complete confidence and faith in God. That is a level of maturity of confidence and of faith for any of us to come to and to take. And it's more than just a child's story being thrown into the fiery furnace.
We all have our fiery trials to go through, we all have our challenges and our difficulties. And we will be tested at times in our faith with God, and we will do all we can to handle a trial, a difficulty, a sickness, a difficult experience, but at the same time, trusting God to guide us, to deliver us, to heal us. And even at the point of death, if death is the answer, healing can come in God's own time through a resurrection. The healing as well might come in a more holistic way as well as through a time of physical suffering, we get our mind together. We get our heart together.
We end our life in a relationship with God far deeper, far more faith-filled than it could have been through any other circumstances. That's what's behind those three words, but if not, that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego uttered. They knew their lives were in God's hands and they took that step. Daniel is more than just a bunch of stories strung together for adults and even for children, it's a great lesson in faith, and this is one of the classic ones for us to understand and to look at.
That's BT Daily. Join us next time.