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Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, O king.”

He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” Daniel 3:24-25

An all too familiar portion from the Bible - a scene we can all visualize just from reading Daniel Chapter 3. An account of the three bold young men Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who stood up to their faith during testing times. It is even possible that Daniel too bowed down to the image but not these men!

I remember reading an imaginary article on the scene once as a first person narrative by one of the friends of these young men. A Hebrew youth just like them who knows he shouldn't bow to any idol or worship anything other than Jehovah; yet he was so afraid of the king's order and the fiery furnace that he decided to 'go with the flow'.

As he did, he saw these three men standing up straight and he is so afraid that they would get killed. So he is hurrying them, "Hey Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego! Didn't you hear the orders? Didn't you hear the drum beat? Bow down! Just once. You don't have to really worship, just pretend!"

And they keep standing and this guy is beginning to panic, hoping that no one would notice them - but alas the kings' men have seen them standing tall while the rest of the assembly and all officials bowed down at the orders. This friend is very sad. His heart is so heavy. He couldn't even say good bye to them lest they associate him with them and take him along to the fiery place.

Thus these three men were led to the king and then to the furnace and his heart sank further - only to realize moments later of the great miracle that happened inside the furnace and how they three got out alive without even the trace of the smoke on them! He starts to see how they stood for their faith and God proved Himself right while he denied his faith to please the king. He is overcome with great regret for his behavior...

Now, coming back to the present time, such orders and similar denials happen on a daily basis even today. We are afraid to open our mouth about things we believe in. We do not speak up. We tolerate all kinds of sins that we see around, just because we are afraid to confront them. We try to stay politically correct - so that we can win "friends" not realizing we are denying our faith by doing so. This is very sad.

Let us today recommit ourselves to never deny our faith over anything or anybody else. When all else fails His grace will be sufficient for us. We will come out of the furnace unbound and unharmed. Amen!
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