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NONE An Unbeliever Believes
By Celina Worley

Every important official, wiseman, astrologer, and ruler in the king's serivce had their heads to the ground--that is, everyone except three Hebrews and a few peeking astrologers. At the first possible chance, the astrologers darted off to give a tell-all report to the king.

"Oh King, live forever," they begin. With calculated concern they inform Nebuchadnezzar how Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego paid no attention to his order to worship the nine-foot golden statue. "They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up," they lament (Dan 3:9-12).

Stoked with fiery rage, Nebuchadnezzar demanded the three provential administrators to come before him. He catches his breath long enough to confirm the rumor, then offers a choice of worshiping his image or death by fire.

"Oh King," Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego reply. "We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up" (Dan 3:16-18). In other words, king, don't give us another chance, you know we've chosen to worship God only.

The firm decision of these men to worship God brings Hebrews 10:35 to mind: "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to perservere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what he has promised." To perservere meant that Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego allowed themselves to be bound. Calmly they waited until the furnace was heated seven times it's normal heat, until the guards collapsed from the unbearable temerature.

I've often wondered what they talked about while they were in the furnace. Through the lips of Nebuchadnezzar, the Bible simply reports that they were walking around unharmed with one who looked like "the son of the gods". When Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego were called out of the fire, not only was the king completely overcome by the sovereignty of God Almighty, but so were all his attending subjects.

According to the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was one of the greatest rulers alive at that time. He was also pagan and cared nothing for the God of Heaven. Through the consistent, persistent lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abendnego, along with Daniel, this unbelieving king became a believer (Daniel 3:28,29; 4:34-37) and an entire kingdom got a glimpse of a powerful, loving God.

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