Page 3 - August 2022 - Truth & Tidings
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t  wasn’t  their  fault.  Previous  gen-  toughest soldiers tied them up, but in the
            erations were to blame. Nevertheless,  fire they were free and walking around.
        IHananiah, Mishael and Azariah found  They obeyed God’s Word and they were
        themselves in Babylon because God always  free. True freedom is not doing what we
        keeps His Word. Centuries before, God  want to do but what we ought to do. And
        promised His people that one of the conse-  we are never more free than when we yield
        quences for covenant disobedience would  to the Holy Spirit and obey the Word of
        be: “You will bear sons and daughters but  God.
        not keep them, because they will be taken   Incredibly, the Judeans observed they
        into captivity” (Deu 28:41).  And now these  were not harmed. The flames that incinerated
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        three Judean captives faced a test of their  those who cast them in had no effect on
        own covenant loyalty. Standing in the  them whatsoever. They proved the Lord’s
        plain of Dura in front of Nebuchadnezzar’s  words (although figurative) in Isaiah 43:2
        monstrosity, the pressure was on: either  to be true: “When you walk through the
        bow to the image and honor the king or  fire, you will not be burned.” As God’s
        burn in his fire.                    people today, we are not promised physical
          We  know  the  story  well.  It’s  in  our   protection as a reward for obeying God’s
        Sunday schools, Bible story books and   Word. But as we obey, we will be spiritually
        children’s songs. But it is serious first com-  preserved: “The Lord is faithful, and he
        mandment stuff, and the lessons of Daniel   will strengthen you and protect you from
        3 are not just for toddlers and preschoolers.   the evil one” (2Th 3:3).
        The words “worship” and “serve” (as in   But the greatest blessing in the furnace
        serving a deity) fill the narrative, and the   was that the three men  were  not  alone.
        command “You shall have no other gods   There was a fourth, likely Christ in a pre-
        before me” (Exo 20:3) is ringing in our ears   incarnate manifestation. The Lord always
        as we gaze at the king’s golden statue jut-  finds His people. As we take a stand for
        ting impressively into the sky.      Him in our day, the world may cast us into
                                             its own “furnace,” but it is there that the en-
          But  as  Babylon’s  best  worship  band   joyment of Christ’s presence becomes more
        performed  and  the  multitude  around   precious. Enduring the heat of alienation
        them bowed in unison, the Judeans were   at work because you wouldn’t compromise
        unmoved. And for that they paid the price,   biblical principles? The Fourth Man is with
        being hurled into the blazing furnace. It   you. Finding the flames of rejection and
        was there, in the strangest of places, that   scorn at school overwhelming because you
        these devoted men experienced such ex-  wouldn’t bow? The Fourth is with you.
        traordinary blessings – the same ones we   Feeling suffocated by desertion from your
        may enjoy should we refuse to conform   family because God’s Word and His Son
        to unbiblical pressures unique to our day.   now mean everything to you? The Fourth
          Inside the furnace, they discovered they  is with you. Indeed, He will never leave us
        were not bound. The king made sure his  nor abandon us (Heb 13:5). And even if the
        ¹ Scripture quotations in this article are from the   stakes should be as high as Daniel 3, our
        NET.                                 knees should bend to no one else.

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