A teaching by Rev. Barbara Williams, President of the Ministry of the Watchman International
Week of August 16-20, 2021
Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews. They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
There were laws set up in Babylon concerning worship. Satan is the god of this world. Through deception he has been able to enthrone himself through man’s disobedience to God. He sets up laws through humans and through human governments that are contrary to certain groups of people. This has always been true. Satan works to divide and conquer through prejudice, fear, bigotry, hatred and divisions and factions. He works especially to divide God’s people, to kill them, put them in fear, and immobilize them. The reason for this is that the devil does not want the truth of God’s character and goodness to spread to every living creature. When we know the truth, we become free of the enemy’s devices. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had the truth of who God was inside of them because they were free of the fear that ruled all the other inhabitants of Babylon. They were not afraid of the Babylonian god, so they did not bow to his image. They feared the Living God instead.
When they refused to bow, their behavior was reported to the King. When you refuse to serve the world and its’ system, your behavior is reported. Satan picks up on it. Don’t worry. God does also. You come before His throne as one who is a worshipper. The trial that you go through afterwards is a trial of promotion, you just don’t know it yet.
If you are in need of healing, there is good news! Proverbs 4:20-22 SAYS:
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
So there is life and health in God’s word. Since God’s word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children’s bread. Consider this your “dose” for today. Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:
Rx: Isaiah 40:29-31 ~ He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15
If you’ve never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters this week:
August 16: 1 Samuel 7-8, Romans 6, Jeremiah 44, Psalms 20-21
August 17: 1 Samuel 9, Romans 7, Jeremiah 45, Psalms 22
August 18: 1 Samuel 10, Romans 8, Jeremiah 46, Psalms 23-24
August 19: 1 Samuel 11, Romans 9, Jeremiah 47, Psalms 25
August 20: 1 Samuel 12, Romans 10, Jeremiah 48-49, Psalms 26-27
August 21: 1 Samuel 13, Romans 11, Jeremiah 50, Psalms 28-29
August 22: 1 Samuel 14, Romans 12, Jeremiah 51, Psalms 30
Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
When you refuse to bow to the devil, God is pleased, but the devil and his crowd are angry. The enemy hides his anger, and begins to question you about your behavior. He wants to try and convince you to obey him. He will use many different tactics. He tries fear, flattery, intimidation, and subtlety. He wants to take the worship away from God. Remember that Satan fell from heaven when he said he would exalt himself above the throne of God. That is still his desire.
When Nebuchadnezzar confronted Schadrach, Meshach, and Abednego he did it in an attempt to get them to change their minds and worship his image. He gives them another opportunity to obey him. Why does the devil want our obedience so badly? It is because he derives power on earth by perverting our God-given dominion. The King even tells them that their God is not able to deliver them out of his hands. They are in line for promotion and don’t know it. They already have high positions in the kingdom, but their refusal to bow to the false image is about to promote them.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
The Hebrew boys answer the King without so much as a blink of their eyes. They tell the King that their God is able to deliver them, because He is the Most High God. Whenever you serve God continually as they did, you have an assurance about His character, motives, and strengths. In other words, you know your God.
The King had no knowledge of their God, but he knew that these young men were ten times wiser than his wisest men. He knew that they were able to worship their God and be a blessing to him in his work. He must have been somewhat embarrassed when they refused to obey him in this. The Hebrew boys still refused to bow. They were not disrespectful to the King, but they just wanted to let him know that they had no intention of giving in to this type of senseless pressure.
Perhaps the devil’s threats seem real to you. Perhaps he has attacked you or a family member with some type of illness. Maybe he continues to tamper with your finances. He may be using your lack of wisdom to accomplish these things. Don’t give up. Don’t bow to his fear tactics. Worship God instead. The wealth and riches of God belong to those who worship Him. There is Divine protection available to those who worship God.
Hang in there with the Lord. He is going to elevate you to tread upon your high places.
Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
This King became so angry that he commanded the three Hebrew men to be cast into the fiery furnace. Never serve a god who requires you to do his killing for him. In this day we see people engaged in what they call “holy wars,” where they kill one another in the name of their gods. Any god with real power will do his own killing, don’t you think? This is always a front for the devil to work and cause people to hurt one another. Our God does not require us to carry out his punishment. Any god who requires this is usually setting up those who obey him to be killed themselves. It turns out that because the fire was increased, that those who placed the servants of God in the fire were themselves destroyed. It is good to remember this. People who make trouble for the servants of God generally go down while those who serve God go up. Nobody can stop God from blessing and promoting those who worship Him and resist the devil.
The King was so angry that he looked into the furnace, hoping to enjoy seeing the young men consumed and suffering. What a shock when he saw not three but four men walking around loose in the fire. He even recognized the fourth man as the Son of God. How does a pagan king recognize the Son of God? God knows how to reveal himself to anybody.
Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God! Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made an ash heap; because there is no other God who can deliver like this.”
Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego in the province of Babylon.
The King orders the young men to come out of the furnace. His curiosity has gotten the better of him. This is the good thing about God. When He does something miraculous for you, it gets everybody’s attention. You become a sign and a wonder to all. So the King calls all his advisors together and they look at these young men upon whose bodies the fire had no hurt.
This is a good scripture to stand on for healing. It will work for burns and radiation treatments that might do damage to healthy tissues. When you are a worshipper of God, the fire of the enemy has no hurt for you. The only thing the enemy’s fire does to a believer is that it will loose any bands the enemy has placed upon you. His power is so weak that it will actually unravel in every trial that you go through. Just keep worshipping God when the enemy accuses you, others will be convinced that your God is the Most High God.
The king begins to bless the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and makes a decree that anybody who says anything against this God will be placed in the fiery furnace.
Does God reveal himself and cause the laws of the land to be changed? Of course He does. He desires to reveal Himself to those in power as well as the least of us. When the King saw their God in action, his respect was restored to the servants of God, and he promoted them.
James 1:2 tells us to “count it all joy” when we go through these things; we become whole and entire as a result. The fire never hurts us, it only completes us.
Look forward to your promotion in God’s kingdom.