In reference to my last post I have recently come out of a struggle or a fire if you will. Which got me thinking about a great number of things all of which pointed me in the direction of bravery, and courage in the face of adversity.
The written word of GOD is full of people who had undergone great turmoil and remained courageous. My first example, is when a young farm boy bringing a message and some food to his brothers. Upon his arrival he sees this massive, intimidating, warrior challenging his family. Challenging the whole of Israel. Kind of confused as to why no one takes this contender on to stop a potential of many deaths the young boy says “send me I will fight this jerk.” Everyone immediately begins to doubt him and this giant even begins to laugh and mock the boy. They not only try and talk him out of it they mock him to which he says “My GOD is going to see me through this just as he always has.” They try to give him armor and a weapon, but he doesn’t want anything to do with it. He goes in with nothing but a sling and 5 stones, not because he thinks he will miss but because the giant had four brothers so the boy knew he would need to fight many more giants in his day but had the confidence that GOD would see him through. Despite the danger being quite real, despite the danger being tangible he goes forward slays the giant in one maneuver and saves Israel from the philistines. That boy was David who becomes the king of Israel and who’s bloodline lead all the way to JESUS and the giant was Goliath, a story I am sure many of us are familiar with.
David who later writes in the book of psalms
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
not only will he not fear because he rests in the confidence of the lord but he will sit at the same table in the face of his enemies.
The story I want to focus on however is when three men who saw a king being defiant against the one true GOD. A king who’s power seemed limitless and who’s boarders knew no bounds. They still sought to defy this king. This king was Nebuchadnezzar, and the men were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.
This king makes these giant gold idols of himself (I know right, conceited much?)
Ole Nebz goes around telling everyone if you don’t bow before these idols and worship me I’m going to burn you alive. Well lets how that plays out for our boys in Daniel 3
12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
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 they are full aware that they are about to get put in this furnace to pretty much get slow roasted, but are they afraid? Nope not one bit, they know that GOD will deliver them from this trial. The word goes on to say.
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. 20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. 22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. 23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”[a]
So the fire was so hot that even the men sent to put them in the furnace were consumed and killed by the heat. Not only that but the king sees a fourth man in the furnace with them that fourth man is JESUS watching over them and protecting them. The fun doesn’t stop there however.
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. 27 And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel[b] and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! 29 Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
This scripture just speaks to me so much. Not only does JESUS go through the fire with us, he gives us the courage to endure and sees us through. Not only does he see us through but he uses that same fire that is sent to destroy us to promote us. The very same giant sent to take our life or throw us off the path will be used to not only strengthen our walk and build our kingdom but bring others to the know the love of the lord.
HE MAKES US BRAVE
I’m talking, one boy vs one giant kind of brave, I’m talking three men one furnace kind of brave, I’m talking walking through the valley kind of brave. I’m talking one baby one manger kind of brave. The kind of brave that shows us that he is GOD over the valley, that he sets the table in the face of our enemies, that when the struggle seems the fiercest, that when all the enemies have showed up to the table, that when the furnace seems to be the hottest its time to just be blessed because that promotion is right around the corner or is even currently underway.
The kind of brave that shows you yes danger is a very real thing but fear is a choice.
If you made it this far just know I love you and appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read the impressions of the word on my heart.
Laugh to heal