The three young men stood before the king quietly, their accusers standing behind them. The king was so filled with rage that his face was distorted and he grew even more incensed at the calm demeanor of the men that stood before him and their response to his demand that they worship his golden statue or be burned alive.
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if He does not, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty that we will never serve your gods or worship the golden statue you have set up” Daniel 3:16 – 18 (New Living Translation). With that statement, they at once acknowledged the power of God and His ability to deliver them, and accepted His Sovereignty that He may choose not to do so.
The king ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than normal and his strongest guards threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the furnace. The guards were killed, but God delivered the three Hebrew men in a mighty and miraculous way that demonstrated his power to a heathen king (Daniel 3:24-30).
What would have happened if God had chosen not to deliver them from the fire? Would that have made Him less than what He is…less than who He is?
As human beings living in an imperfect world, we face adversity and challenges every day – tests and trials of our faith that are sometimes hard to bear – jobs are lost, loved ones pass away, a young father is unable to provide for his family, a young woman is heartbroken over multiple miscarriages.
Pain is inevitable in life, yet God remains who He is – Loving, Powerful, Mighty….Sovereign, exercising His supreme authority over the heavens and the earth.
As Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego spoke to the king, they knew that God had the power to save them…they understood that He might have chosen not to do so, yet they refused to let the severe trial they faced dictate their response to and about God. In the midst of life’s difficult circumstances, may we be like the three Hebrew men who said “…even if He does not…”, and chose to cling to God.