Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent His angel to rescue His servants who trusted in Him. They defied the king's command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Daniel 3:28
If you have been following along with our devotionals this week, you know we left off reading the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego who were thrown into a furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they refused to worship his statue. They were willing to sacrifice their lives rather than worship anything else other than God. The furnace was so hot that the guards who threw them into the furnace died. Their story does not end there, however.
When the king checked on them in the furnace, they were still alive and unharmed. There was also a fourth person in the fire with them who appeared to be a heavenly being. There is some debate on who that person was. Some believe it to have been an angel and others believe it to have been an Old Testament sighting of Jesus. Whether it was an angel or Jesus, these men were not alone in the fire. Nebuchadnezzar commanded them to come out of the furnace. He called them "servants of the Most High God" (El Elyon). He recognized the fact that their God was God over all. He was in charge, and His plan could not be thwarted. He was God, and Nebuchadnezzar was not. When the men came out, not a bit of their bodies was burned, and they did not even smell like fire. After witnessing such a miracle, King Nebuchadnezzar made a law that anyone who defamed the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would be punished severely.
King Nebuchadnezzar was learning what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego already knew: God is "El Elyon," God Most High, who rescues His people. In their humility, the three men knew that only God had the power to rescue them. Because of their humility and faith, God's name was respected and honored all throughout Babylon. This was also humbling for Nebuchadnezzar. He learned that the God of the Israelites truly had the power to save and overrule his commands.
We, too, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, serve El Elyon, God Most High. He alone has the power to save. When we live for Him and stand for Him, His name is made famous.
This Thanksgiving Day, spend time praising God that He is God Most High who rescues His people. Do you know someone who needs God's rescuing today? Is there someone who you have been feeling led to share your faith with, but you are nervous or worried about their response? Remember today that you serve El Elyon, God Most High. He has power over everything and will be with you. Share the good news of Jesus with them this week. Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Praise God Most High for sending Jesus to rescue us so that we could have eternal life in Him.
Read Daniel 3:24-30 (NLT)
But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
“Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”
Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.