Imagine what it would have been like to be in the shoes of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had conquered Jerusalem and, along with Daniel and others, these three Hebrew youth had been taken to Babylon where they ended up in service to this foreign king. He makes a golden image and requires all to worship before it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will not. They refuse to be unfaithful to the one true God.
The King’s Arrogance
King Nebuchadnezzar is furious over their refusal. He gives them another opportunity to worship the golden image that he had set up. This is what he tells them: “Now if you are ready…to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:15).
The arrogance of King Nebuchadnezzar is extreme. He thinks he is unstoppable, that no god could intervene and thwart his will.
The Hebrew’s Confidence
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answer the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18).
The confidence of these young men is extreme. They know God can thwart Nebuchadnezzar, and they are confident God will. But even if God were to not deliver them from the fate of burning in the fiery furnace, it made no difference to what they were determined to do. They would not give in and sin by worshipping anything other than the one true God.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar sees them walking, unbound and unhurt, in the midst of the fire. And he sees another with them, the appearance of the fourth one being “like a son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25).
Nebuchadnezzar calls Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to come out from the fire. They do, and they are completely untouched by the fire. This leads Nebuchadnezzar to say, “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…there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way” (Daniel 3:28,29).
The deliverance of God is extreme. He intervenes, setting aside the laws of nature, and overruling what King Nebuchadnezzar had determined. None can deliver like this except Him, the one true God.
Arrogance, Confidence, Deliverance Today
For a Christian it is not hard to imagine being in the shoes of these three Hebrew men. A Christian’s situation is much the same as theirs.
We face an extremely arrogant enemy. Satan sought to make himself equal to the Son of God, and now he “…prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
But we have extreme confidence. We are sure “…that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38,39).
We have such extreme confidence because God is an extreme Deliverer. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 2:4-6).
There is an enemy who lifts himself up against God and seeks to have us be unfaithful to God. We should respond with unshakable confidence. By means of Jesus Christ bearing our sins and paying the penalty for them by His death on the cross we are delivered with a deliverance that is more sure than anything else we can know. Stand fast, believer! Whatever the consequences in this life may be, faithfulness to God is never faith misplaced. He has delivered you and He will deliver you! In this confidence, stand fast.
Maybe this confidence is not yours, because you haven’t entered into this deliverance. Be assured there is an enemy of your soul seeking to devour you, yet he need not succeed. By God’s grace, through faith in Jesus, extreme deliverance can be yours. Trust in Jesus Christ and join the ranks of the confident delivered ones!