Even If He Doesn’t
Verse 18a But even if He does not,
Yesterday we started talking about some young men who showed by example that it wasn’t just because Jesus was God that He was able to endure unto the end. Jesus was able to do it perfectly, but we are able to be faithful to God and His will by standing strong through trials also.
Having been told that they would be thrown into the fiery furnace if they didn’t bow down when the music played, these men had a choice to make. While this may seem like a hard choice for many it wasn’t for these three because they had already set in their hearts who they were committed to.
The king of the land is furious at the men and can’t believe that they would willingly disobey knowing what their fate would be. But they stand strong in their resolve to obey God no matter what earthly punishment they would face. They knew God could do anything He wanted and that He could save them from anything that the king could throw at them. But they weren’t standing only because they knew God could save them.
These three young men didn’t stand for God knowing that it was God’s will to save them. They say two very crucial words in our key verse for the day, “Even if…” They were willing to obey God even if it meant death. And not just any death a violent death of burning to death. This admission that God may not save them shows the depth of their commitment to God and is mirrored by Jesus’ prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus said, “But not my will, but Yours be done.”
The king is even more furious to hear this and orders the furnace turned up to 7 times hotter than the normal and commands his strongest soldiers to bind the young men and throw them into the fire. But this command had more disastrous effects on the soldiers than it did on the three they were throwing in, as the strong soldiers died when they threw in the devoted young men.
But then it happened. God showed up. The king jumps up when he notices that not only are the young men unbound and walking around in the fire, there is a fourth man in the fire with them that looked like the son of God. He calls them out and finds that they don’t even smell of smoke. He knows that there is only one explanation and that is that God had saved them. He orders that anyone who speaks against their God to be cut into pieces and their houses be destroyed. We need to see what King Nebuchadnezzar came to understand, God alone can save.
Making It Personal
It is easy to think that we love God enough to die for Him but what are some ways that you have failed to stand up for Him? What was the relationship that the three men had with God that helped them stand up for Him? What needs to change in your relationship with God to bring it closer to what they had?
Making It Personal Kids
Why was the king wanting to throw the men in the fire? Who did the men trust to help them? Do you trust Jesus to help you stand for Him?
Father, we confess and repent of the times we have not stood for You. We have failed You in the small things so how can we expect to stand for You in the big things? Father, help us grow in our relationship with You so we can stand with You no matter what. In Jesus’ name, amen.