August 4

2 Kings 24:5-6, 8-9; 2 Chronicles 36:8-9; 1 Chronicles 3:10-16; Daniel 3:1-30, Jeremiah 9:16-21, 10:17-25, 12:7-17, 19:14-20:18

When we were little girls our dad could make almost anything fun. Even bed time. We could be sitting around the TV and when 9:00 came around he would often say… Shadrach, Meshach, TO-BED-WE-GO! We would giggle, thinking he was the most clever Dad in the world. I never read this story in Daniel without thinking about Dad, and being thankful for having been his daughter.

In reality, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego loved their Father, too. They were convinced that God was who he said he was and they trusted him with every moment of every day. They spoke some of the most powerful words recorded in Scripture:

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O KIng. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)

How is your resolve to follow God? I know some people who are facing the fiery furnace of horrific physical challenges, some of emotional pain, others financial or relational. 

Before they ever felt the heat of the fire, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego determined to stay true to God. Then in the midst of the flames they were given the privilege of seeing Jesus right there with them. They kept walking. Jesus walked with them And God brought them out of their ordeal, whole.

I know. I know. God doesn’t promise that all of our problems will turn out like these three. Sometimes God’s provision is to welcome his children home. But I don’t think the lesson in this chapter of Daniel is about the result. I think it’s about the journey.

And in their journey, King Nebuchadnezzar saw Jesus walking with them in the furnace. Think about that one for a while and realize that God would like to reveal himself to others through your journey, too.

Do you trust God with today regardless of what it hands you? Are you determined to serve him even if you lose your job or your health or someone you love? I think what God wants us to see today is Jesus there in the furnace with the men. He wants us to be aware that he knows how hot it is because he is right there in your heart. 

You are not alone. If you know Jesus as your Savior he promises never to leave or forsake you no matter how hot things get. Trust him. And keep walking even if everything in you wants to give up. You may not see him, but Jesus is walking right beside you. 

And if you do, someone who needs him might recognize his presence in your life and find him as their Savior. 

Father, we give you today. May we trust you because you can be trusted. Thank you for promising to walk with us today, even in the midst of trouble. May we, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego determine to follow you whether or not the outcome is what we think we want. Help us to see you. And may others see you in our lives. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.</p>

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