When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego endured the fiery furnace they were not alone. What lessons can you learn from the "fourth man in the fire" when you go through fiery trials in your life?
[Darris McNeely] I’ve been reflecting recently on a story that we all know from the book of Daniel chapter 3 – the fiery furnace and the three young men Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not bow down to the idol that Nebuchadnezzar had erected. It’s a wonderful story and yet there are some very important points from that story for us to learn about our own life and what happens with us.
You all know the story. They would not bow down to the great golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had built and put into the plain of Dura, told in chapter 3 of Daniel. They said – they came to a point where they said that they knew that God was going to be able to save them from the fiery furnace, but they were not going to bow down to that idol. The operative phrase within Daniel 3 is “but if not”. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said, “God can save us, but if He doesn’t, we’re still not going to bow down to your golden image” (Daniel 3:18 Daniel 3:18But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
American King James Version×) – to the idol, probably of a Babylonian god, that Nebuchadnezzar had erected.
Now, Johnny Cash made a great song called “The Fourth Man in the Fire”. And it highlights the very fact that we find in verse 25, Daniel chapter 3, where after the three men were thrown into the fire, the king looks in and the three are still alive, and he saw a fourth man in the fire. He said in verse 25, “Look! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire. They are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of Man” (Daniel 3:24-25 Daniel 3:24-25  Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said to his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king.
 He answered and said, See, I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
American King James Version×). Like the son of man. It was a divine figure. Scholars will be mixed on their reviews of whether it was the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ or whether it was an angel. Certain translations put it to the idea that it just could be a divine figure. But here’s the important point: these three did survive, and it tells us that when we go through our own trials today, our own fiery trials – because in the Bible, in the New Testament, the challenges and the trials that we face as Christians are called “fiery trials”. And there’s a big lesson for us to learn because it’s when we go through fiery trials that verse 13 of 1 Peter chapter 4 tells us we are partners with Christ when we go through our own fiery trials. That’s 1 Peter 3:13 1 Peter 3:13And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?
American King James Version×– actually, chapter 4 and verse 13. We’re partners with Christ when we go through that (1 Peter 3:12-13 1 Peter 3:12-13  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?
American King James Version×).
Now, when we take that back to the story of the fourth man in the fire, it tells us that God will be with us in the trials that we endure. That’s what we have to remember. Whatever comes our way, whatever challenge to our faith, whatever difficulty in our life – whether something that is brought upon us because of circumstances beyond our control, by our own sin, or by other people – we have to recognize that if we’re going to remain faithful to God, He will deliver us through it, one way or the other, and He will be with us, and we are partners with Christ in that. That’s a big lesson to learn from the fourth man in the fire. The fiery trial of Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace of Daniel chapter 3.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.