“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
Thrown into the fire, seemingly forgotten; the heat rises and they feel their skin prickle. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego prepare their hearts to be received unto eternity. To the very end, they kept their faith and refused to worship any other god than the one true God, despite the threat, and eventual reality, of being thrown into the fire.
But then something strange happens.
They don’t burn, they don’t suffocate, they don’t die. They are surrounded by tall flames and trapped inside this fiery pit with no escape, and yet here they stand, unharmed. They also notice something else- who is that? Is there a fourth in here? Perhaps they wonder if it’s the heat that’s making them see things, or maybe, could it be that God sent an angel to protect them?
Eventually the fire dies down, and the smoke clears. The doors open and fresh air fills their lungs. They were thrown into the fire, and yet out they came, unscathed and stronger still in their faith in God.
This is how I imagine those events taking place in Daniel 3. There is so much to unpack from that one miraculous event, and the stand that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego takes in Daniel 3:17-18.
Background from the Book of Daniel
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
And if not, He is still good - Daniel 3:18
This is what Daniel 3:17-18 says. Three men stood up against the most powerful man of that land, Nebuchanezzar II. He had created a golden statue of himself and wanted all to bow down to it, or be thrown into a fiery pit. But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego declared that their faith will remain with the one true God; they were never going to worship any other. So big was their faith that even if they did not get saved from their perilous situation, they were never going to denounce Him. They are basically saying to God, “but even if you don’t, my hope is still in You.”
What does the Bible Verse “And if not, He is still good” mean?
What else does their declaration tell us? What does it mean when they said, “and if not, He is still good”?
It means that this life, this world, is not the end-all and be-all of our existence. It means that there is something beyond our time here, that our pain is temporary, and we were made for better things and higher ground. It means that eternity with God is the true reward, and not this life we are living in the flesh.
It means that while we are living in this world, we are not of this world. That our life here is not going to be perfect or smooth sailing. In fact we can expect trials and tribulations – our very own versions of a fire pit. But that through it all, we are not alone. We have never been, we never will be. God may allow for pain to take place, but He will never allow us to go through it without Him. And at the end of each trial, we will walk out of the fire stronger in faith and wiser in heart, carrying a new testimony of God’s goodness.
But even if you don’t, my hope is in you alone
In the midst of hurt, we can find our song. The three men who were thrown into the fire had every reason to despair, and yet they chose to believe that God’s will is always perfect, and He is always good. He can’t help it- because it is His nature to be good. They were surrounded by fire, but none of that mattered because they knew that their hope in the Lord was not in vain, whether in this life, or in the one eternal.
This is a promise you can hold on to every day of your life! Let yourself be reminded of that. Fill your home or space with more of God’s promises. You can pick from our collection of Bible Verse phone case or Christian Art Print and gift it to someone who just might need this reminder today.