Sometimes life can get hot. Heated, I mean. Heavy, difficult–hard. And sometimes you have to walk through some seriously challenging things. But I don’t suppose you’ve ever walked through a gigantic bonfire.
The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar made a giant gold statue of himself and made people worship it. The punishment for any person not worshiping the statue was being thrown into a huge, blazing furnace. Naturally, God really didn’t like that the king made a huge statue of himself. That, and he kind of had an entire kingdom which he gave himself all the credit for. The Israelites Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all knew the right person to worship–rather than a giant gold statue–God. So what happened when they told that to Nebuchadnezzar?
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”” Daniel 3:16-18
The three men were thrown into the furnace and King Nebuchadnezzar ordered it to be seven times hotter than it originally was. In fact, it was hot enough to kill the soldiers that took them into the furnace, and those soldiers were some of the strongest of Nebuchadnezzar’s army, one of the biggest in the world. There were only three men in the furnace, but those present saw four men in the fire. Nebuchadnezzar said that the fourth man looked like a son of the gods (or the son of God), for he was actually Jesus. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego all walked out of the flames unscathed. Later King Nebuchadnezzar basically lived like an animal until he had humility enough to respect God, upon which he returned to Babylon.
We can all live through the fiery furnace of a sinful life if we turn to God just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did. If they could walk through an actual fire, you can walk through a figurative one, right?