ADVENT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT—DAY 23
Daniel 3:15-18,24-25 (King Nebuchadnezzar said) “Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, 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.” . . .
Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisors, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
They replied, “Certainly, O king.”
He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Was it Jesus in the fiery furnace with the three faithful witnesses? Of all the places where the “angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament seems to be Jesus himself, this one is the most memorable. Was this experience not on His mind when Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them”? Later Paul would say from personal experience that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the promise that you will never leave me nor forsake me. I have been tempted to take the easy way out, to sit down when I have been called on to stand for you. Reassure me that whether or not I am burned by the trap that the enemy sets for me, You will be with me and you will give me strength to remain faithful. In the name of the one who has promised that He will be with us always even to the end of the age. Amen.