Faith on Fire

September 8, 2017

Pretend you don’t know the story, the dialogue, or the ending. Now, for a moment, imagine you’re on the plain of Dura, maneuvering beneath the shadow of a towering statue of exquisite gold. The afternoon sun beams off its metallic biceps. Its imposing chest betrays indestructible dominion, and its chiseled legs irremovable authority. Feet firmly planted, it stands high above the gathered throng, intimidating, yet attractive.

 

It’s been a grandiose day of pomp and circumstance. The scene is scented with celebrity power and prowess. Fanfare fills the air. Everybody who’s anybody floods the red carpet. Syncopated flashes of Canon and Nikon capture the moving moments of this historic occasion. Look around. Who do you see? “Come one, come all,” cried the herald, and no one dared to decline. There is music, but this is not the Grammys. There is an image, but this is not the Oscars. This is much, much deeper. This is worship. 

 

“Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the nations and peoples of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.”

Daniel 3:6, 7

 

The ultimatum could not have been clearer. Obey or Toast. Thousands, knee-bowed and body-bent, assume a position of surrender. After all, who would attempt less in the face of death by fire? 

 

“But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, your majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Daniel 3:12

 

Though unknown to most, the furnace does not blaze alone. There are three other flames, hidden and undetectable to the naked eye. They burn within the hearts of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men possess a peculiar faith. Their faith is on fire. Fueled by a resolve to worship no one sbut the one, true God, their flames grow stronger and their faith shines brighter.

 

“…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

 

You can have a faith on fire by tuning your heart into the frequency of heaven. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were unmoved by Nebuchadnezzar’s musical threats because they were dialed into a different station. While their contemporaries operated out of fear, they lived in a continuous posture of faith in God. He had proven Himself before, and they expected no less today. You can expect this same God to act in your behalf. He still delights in His children. He still responds to our faith.

 

Devotional Reading: Daniel 3:1-30

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Richard D. Martin 2020