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home : religion : inspirational reflections September 24, 2020

7/26/2020 12:11:00 AM
The Fourth Man
Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.'

Charles R. Swindoll — 'Life is
10% what happens to you and
90% how you react to it.'

Rev. Susan Smith
Guest Columnist

Daniel 3:13-18

13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 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.”

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Can you imagine the courage of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the blazing furnace because they would not worship the golden image made by King Nebuchadnezzar? Their relationship with God was so strong and so real that they were not afraid as they were tossed into the fire. They were not sure what was going to happen to them. They hoped that God would deliver them but even if He did not, they trusted HHhim completely. Nothing could shake their confidence that in Him. God was first in their life, and He would be with them no matter what the outcome.

As soon as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the blazing furnace the king was astonished to see they were not alone in the fire in Daniel 3:24-25 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 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.” This was an early reference to Jesus and his amazing power to sustain us in every circumstance.

Have you ever felt like you have been tossed into a blazing furnace and your life was on fire? Have you ever felt the heat of someone’s anger boiling over on you when you didn’t deserve it? Have you ever been thrown into a situation where it seems everything you have worked for is burning up and you are powerless to stop it? Have you ever been though a time where everything is going wrong at the same time and you are in the middle of an inferno that seems to be destroying your life?

If God is the head of your life when you are tossed into the fire you can reach out to the fourth man who was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego because He is with you too. As the fire rages in your life, keep your eye on the fourth man and trust that the blazing furnace will not destroy you whatever the outcome may be.

Rev. Smith is the Associate Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach Church www.exodusmissionaryoutreach and can be reached at 828-962-8196, or P.O. Box 3311, Hickory, NC 28603.

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