Facing the Music….Seeing Jesus Face to Face
The book of Daniel is such an awesome book as we see the power of God on display and we see how powerful the obedience of God’s people is also. In Daniel chapter 3 we see Daniel’s three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego take the stage. The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had set up an image of himself and made a decree that whenever the music played, all the people of Babylon had to bow down to that image. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (we’ll call them SM&A)knew that they could not do that for it would be idolatry; so when the music played they did not bow down. Others brought this to the king’s attention so the king prepared a fiery furnace and confronted SM&A about their disobedience to his decree. He told them he would give them another chance but if they didn’t bow to the image when the music played, they would be thrown into the furnace. This is their response to the king in chapter 3: 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
So Nebuchadnezzer put them in the furnace but they were not burned at all…the king also saw a fourth figure standing with them in the furnace and declared Him to be the Son of God. Then SM&A were brought out and Nebuchadnezzar gave praise to God. These three men were willing to face the music and not go against God and they were allowed to see Jesus, a pre-incarnation appearance of Him, face to face in the midst of the fire. These men understood that God could deliver them from the furnace but even if He did not, He was still God and worthy of obedience. This is the attitude that we must have!!!!
God isn’t obligated to save us from suffering and trials and persecution. Rather, we are obligated to endure suffering, trials and persecution on His behalf! And when we do, we will “see Jesus” in the midst of that suffering. These three men, SM&A, understood that and were willing to obey regardless of the cost. Not only did they see Jesus, but God was glorified in the eyes of all those around. What an inspiring example for us all!