Day 47 – Daniel 3:17-18

 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18 ESV

All over the world at this present moment men and women are being persecuted for their faith. Following Jesus cost them incredibly. Continual sacrifice and even death in many cases is what they are willing to do for the One they love. They do not know our western woes, nor would they understand them if they did. They do not get caught up in the stuff we hide behind. They know following means everything they are is sacrificed.

These men and women do not take for granted the things we so easily ignore, like the pleasure of gathering with brothers and sisters publicly to testify of a God who is faithful. They would so richly drink of the thing we often put at the bottom of our list of things to do.

They understand the true value of fellowship and of partaking of the word together. They understand that one more gathering could give them just enough strength to withstand the persecution they will face tomorrow. They know that the fellowship and love of the family of God walking the same road with them will be strength, just as God intended. They are not alone and others are enduring under the most trying of situations with them all over the world.

Their sacrifice although costly is not in vain. No sacrifice for Truth and following God is ever in vain.

In the word, we have three Hebrew boys who suffered persecution. They were living in a time where the king wanted to be god. He demanded worship from everyone, but these young men refused to compromise because they knew of a God who was worthy of their unwavering devotion. They refused to bow and it resulted in a trip into the fire. However, this experience did not turn out quite like the king may have thought. There, all of a sudden, was a fourth man in the fire. They did not go though this trial alone. God was with them in their fire. God is with those today experiencing persecution all over the world. He is in their fire and He is in yours.

Standing for truth may cost but imagine the glory revealed when the all consuming fire consumes everything man made to worship. He brings His sons and daughters out, without any evidence of having ever been in there in the first place.

Today I am grateful for the fourth man in the fire. I can speak to the truth that He has always been with me in my trials. I have never known the persecution like these boys, nor like many are facing today, but I can tell you He was there for them then and He is here for us now. My God is faithful. I pray I be found faithful to Him.


  1. Reply
    Pat McRae says:

    As I read these verses this morning I thought about all my brothers and sisters around the world that are living these verses today. Unwilling to deny God, to follow the idol, they pay the price with their life. Something I have not had to comprehend in my comfortable Christian walk. I have always wondered what I would do, how I would act; would I grumble and complain, would I think God had forsaken me? Or would I be a Peter or Silas singing and praising God so all could hear? I really hope I never have to find out, but I do believe I can be a Shadrach, Meshach or Abednego and only because I have once stood for Christ on a mission trip. We were in Indonesia and at a Muslim school for young men. I got into a conversation with a young man about Jesus and did not hold anything back. Jesus was my strength in school who gave me the wisdom I needed to pass my exams and I let them know this fact. Well the leaders of my group were quite upset with me and were sure we would be arrested and put in prison. I had a hard time with their fear because 1. I felt God was my protection and 2. I had not come to be intimidated by the enemy to be quiet. I knew I would go to jail happily for my Jesus, it might not be a situation I would enjoy, but for Jesus yes I would go.
    But today as I read this portion of Scripture and was thinking about this things these words keep leaping off the page, “will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image”. So I had to seek God on what He was trying to say, to show me. Words he wants me to notice, and ponder so He can speak to me through them.
    As I waited on Him I received one word, ‘pride’. Am I willing to bow my knee and my head in humility? Or will I continue to allow the enemy to hold the idol of pride high and bow my knee to it? Have I matured enough to walk the path He has prepared for me without needing to be well thought of, having people misunderstand me, or even have people misuse me and be abusive to me, in humility? Or will the golden idol of pride take me off the path? Am I going to be that open book, what you see is what you get, or am I going to put the facade up so I can be well thought of? Can I lay down my idol, golden image of pride, that has ruled my life for so long, to walk in humility with Him where He leads?
    I am thankful this morning that God confronts us and in the confrontation He assures us He is able to walk us through the fiery furnace. Oh the experience might be tough but we will come through, not smelling of smoke, no singed marks, just pure gold for His use. I am thankful that maturity requires stretching and growth. Both can cause some discomfort but as we let go and let God do the work He wants done, we step one more step closer to the Lover of our souls. We will be more like Him in character and our authority over the enemy takes a huge boost of power.Today I am grateful these knees and this head will only bow to the King of kings, and pride is an overthrown idol!
    From man pleaser to God pleaser! 🙂

  2. Reply
    Sue Holmes says:

    I am so much in awe of our brothers & sisters overseas who have been putting it all on the line for their faith. They have paid and continue to pay a tremendous price for not bowing to the idols/gods of isis, boko haram, al qaeda, etc. I would like to think that I would pay the same price. I would like to think that given the choice between bowing to a useless idol of another belief system or standing firm, at the cost of my life, for the only One who would give His life for me … that I would willingly place myself in God’s hands.
    But would I stand as firm if I had to choose between denying my faith or watch my child being tortured & molested? Would I be able to handle it knowing that a loved one was sold into slavery because of my refusal to give in. This would require faith as that of Abraham prepared to give up Isaac knowing that God would provide a sacrifice. This would require an assurance based on an intimacy with my Father, an assurance that this world does not know. It is so true that “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. My human weakness would match that of Peter around the fire as Christ was being led off to be tried & tortured. But my Father’s strength would allow me to place a loved one firmly in the hands of the One who gave her to me in the first place. I pray for the strength that comes from the joy of the Lord. I pray for the intimacy that produces that strength to not bow.
    We have lots of this world’s idols around us pulling from every direction. A lot of these idols are disguised as something good, something necessary and sometimes something right. I am thankful for a Father who has promised to provide a way of escape. I am grateful to have access to a source of strength beyond anything I could produce. I am grateful for the joy of the Lord.

  3. Reply
    Susan Craig says:

    This passage brings memories of a book I read by Elizabeth Elliott years ago which recounted the story of her husband and some other young men who went to spread the gospel to a tribe of people who lived so deep in the amazon that they had no contact with the civilized world. These young men ended up dying at the hands of these people and she followed them to carry on their work there resulting in many in the tribe becoming saved. I can’t remember all of it but I do remember how much it impacted me as a teenager reading the book (titled ‘Through Gates of Splendor’ I think). I must try to find it and read it again.
    There are many Christians who had to put their lives on the line to reach the world of every tribe and nation with the gospel of Christ. There are many heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11 who were persecuted/tortured/killed for their faith in God. This story in Daniel is one I heard many times as a child in Sunday school and it always fascinated me that they went into the furnace and did not get burned. Like Daniel in the lions den, it is the stuff heroes are made of. Standing your ground even if it costs you your life-what courage that must have been!!! These were young men with many years of living ahead of them, yet they were willing to put it all on the line for what they believed in. This also took character-they lived lives of integrity-they walked what thay talked. But most of all, these men demonstrated faith in God’s ability to protect them from the fire!! That amount of faith is like the mustard seed type faith that Jesus talked about-the kind that believes that God could move mountains if He so chooses. Three young men with courage, character and faith! Look at what the result was, when they were put to the test and had to pay the price for their resistance -God delivered them in a mighty way!!! Just wondering tonight if we know what we are asking for when we pray for deliverance from trials- sometimes perseverance under trials is necessary so that we develop qualities such as character,courage and a deeper faith in the ability of our God- before we are delivered from them. We really do not know what we would do until we are in such a situation as this- but I do pray that when I am tried, I will not be found wanting- that the qualities these young men demonstrated would also be mine – so that I can stand my ground, trusting that no matter the outcome, God is infinitely worthy of my faith in Him and it would be an honor to die for that faith if that is His will for me!!! May I be like Jesus and pray” Not my will but thine Lord be done”. Thanking the Lord tonight for the examples in the Bible-the heroes of faith- that help us to increase our own faith in Him. Thanking Him that He sends us trials for a purpose-to develop qualities of perseverance,character,courage,faith etc when we go through them. Thanking Him also that this incident shows beyond any shadow of doubt, that we do not ever go through fiery trials alone- He will always be with us in them.

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