“‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’ He said, ‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’” (Daniel 3:24-25 

Daniel, along with his three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were men of principle. Although their faith was tested several times, they did not waver; even when they were challenged to either worship King Nebuchadnezzar or be thrown into a blazing hot fire. Against the threat of a fiery death, these men would not denounce their faith in the one true God. 

There has been many a Sunday School lesson on this story about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as well as songs that children have learned about these three men. It’s a powerful story about God’s protection. Some might say it’s a “nice” story about three men in a fiery furnace. A powerful story, yes. A nice story, not at all.

Let’s make no mistake, Nebuchadnezzar was a mean man. He was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He threatened them with death. But not just death, burning them to death. When they insisted on worshipping God and not him, he had the furnace “heated seven times hotter than usual” (Daniel 3:19. The flames were so hot that the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fire were killed in the process.

But much to Nebuchadnezzar’s surprise, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not die. The very clothes they were wearing were not even singed by the flames. Their lives were spared. How? Because there was someone in the flames with them, protecting them – God Himself. 

While these three men believed in God, this kind of protection may have been much more, immeasurably more, than what they were expecting. It was certainly way more than King Nebuchadnezzar expected. This may have been the very image the prophet Isaiah had in mind when he wrote, “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:2).  

What kind of flames or trials are you facing in your life? 

When you consider the capital campaign that you have been asked to be a part of, what kind of challenge does that place before you? How easy it is to think that you have to “go it alone.” But the lesson Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego learned is about God’s presence, power, and protection in the face of a great challenge. In obedience to God, walk into the challenge of this campaign and trust that God will be there. Trust that God will be there to reveal to you immeasurably more than anything you could ever ask or imagine.

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