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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Our Daily Bread ODB + Insight, 14 November 2020 - Inside The Fire

Inside The Fire - Our Daily Bread ODB Devotional: 14 November 2020

Inside The Fire - Our Daily Bread ODB Devotional: 14 November 2020


Inside the Fire

By Jennifer Benson Schuldt for ODB


I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed. 
Daniel 3:25


Read: Daniel 3:12–18

Bible in a Year: Lamentations 3–5; Hebrews 10:19–39


A wildfire in Andilla, Spain, scorched nearly 50,000 acres of woodland. However, in the middle of the devastation, a group of nearly 1,000 bright green cypress trees remained standing. The trees’ ability to retain water had allowed them to safely endure the fire.

During King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in Babylon, a small cluster of friends survived the flames of the king’s wrath. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship a statue Nebuchadnezzar had created, and they told him, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it” (Daniel 3:17). Infuriated, the monarch cranked up the heat seven times hotter than normal (v. 19).

The soldiers who carried out the king’s orders and tossed the friends into the blaze were burned up, yet onlookers watched Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walk around inside the flames “unbound and unharmed.” Someone else was in the furnace as well—a fourth man who looked “like a son of the gods” (v. 25). Many scholars believe this was a preincarnate appearance of Jesus. 

Jesus is with us when we face intimidation and trials. In the moments when we’re urged to give in to pressure, we don’t have to be afraid. We may not always know how or when God will help us, but we know He’s with us. He’ll give us the strength to stay faithful to Him through every “fire” we endure.


Why is the supernatural comfort of God’s presence encouraging to you? How can you support others who may be facing opposition?


Dear God, fill me with Your Spirit so that I can persevere when I feel pressured to give in. I want to honor You by standing strong.











Insight

Understanding more about the furnace described in Daniel 3 helps us grasp the miracle that took place. It’s likely the furnace was used to smelt or extract metals from ore. The ore would be dropped into a top opening of the furnace—likely where Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown in. An opening in the side of the furnace at ground level may have been where the fire would be fed. This is probably where Nebuchadnezzar watched.

Having the furnace “heated seven times hotter” (v. 19) was an idiom for having it heated as hot as possible; some guess this to be up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. This would explain why the soldiers who threw the three men into the furnace were killed instantly (v. 22).







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