This post is Day 20 in a series of studies about “Angels”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Angels – Day 20
This is one of several nail-biting episodes in Daniel. Three government officials refused to bow to any statue, declaring that Jehovah was the only God to be worshipped. They were thrown into a fiery furnace. Even many people who have not read the Bible have heard of these faithful ones.
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued His servants!”
The book of Daniel makes exciting reading. There are several nail-biting episodes and this is one of them. King Nebuchadnezzar was a vain leader who seemed to have extreme changes of mind, we could even say mental problems.
He had been troubled with a dream that no-one could interpret for him until Daniel asked God for a revelation in order to stop the deaths of many of the king’s advisors (Daniel 2:5). After Daniel had given the interpretation Nebuchadnezzar announced “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries” (Daniel 2:47).
Consequently Daniel was promoted, and his friends too. These three friends were the ones who ended up in the fiery furnace!
This unstable king had forgotten his proclamation that God was God. He had issued a decree that everyone must pay homage to a gold statue.
Because the three government officials named above refused to bow to any statue, declaring that Jehovah was the only God to be worshipped, they were thrown into the fiery furnace. Even many people who haven’t read much of the Bible have heard of these faithful ones.
Nebuchadnezzar himself watched to see what happened to them.
He saw four people in the furnace and declared that the fourth one was an angel sent to protect them.
Read the full chapter and feel all the emotions there, the anger of the king, the determination of the faithful jews, the surprise that they didn’t die immediately and amazement when the king saw the angel with the three men still alive.
Ask yourself how strong your faith would be if death was the punishment for believing in Jesus. There are many countries today where that is the case. Pray for those countries.