There's a story in the book of Daniel chapter 3 that I would like to share with you. It begins like this, there was once a king named Nebuchadnezzar. He made a huge golden statue, ninety feet high and nine feet wide.  Then he told all the princes, the governors, the captains, and all the rulers of the land to come to see his statue. He made a command to  the people, that when they heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, and all kinds of music that they were to bow down and worship the golden image that he built. Anyone who didn't would be cast into a burning fiery furnace. So from that time on, the moment the people heard the loud music they fell down and worshiped the king's golden image.

     Now there were three Hebrew children who's names were, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who  lived in the land of king Nebuchadnezzar too. These children loved God and had dedicated their lives to worshipping ONLY Him. They would not bow down to any other god but their God, and of course they wouldn't bow down to the golden statue of the king's. They knew God as well as you and I know our own mom! Let's think about it for a minute.  If someone would put a stone statue of your mom in front of you and tell you to choose between that stone statue or your real mom, well, there just wouldn't be any comparison between the two. You feel love, warmth, compassion and encouragement from your mom. How could a stone statue ever compare to your mom! This was the way the Hebrew children felt about God. They knew His love and had experienced His compassion  for them in their lives. They could not bow down to any other god, but their God.

     Well as the story goes, their were men who knew that the Hebrew children were not doing as the king had said so they went to the King and told him of the Hebrew children. King Nebuchadnezzar was very mad about this so he sent for the children, as they were brought before him the king said, "Is it true, that you do not worship the golden image which I have set up? If you do not I will cast you into a burning fiery furnace."  The three Hebrew children told the King that even if he threw them into the furnace they could not bow down to the golden statue.

     Now the king was furious! He told the guards to heat up the furnace seven times hotter than usual. Then he commanded the most mighty men in his army to tie Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego up and throw them into the fiery furnace. The guards did as they were told.  Then the most unusual thing happened! As the King looked into the furnace he was amazed at what he saw! There was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walking in the midst of the fiery furnace UNHURT! Not only did the King see the three Hebrew children but also there was a fourth person who looked like the Son of God in their with them! The only thing that had gotten burnt on them were the ropes that had them bound. WOW what a sight that must have been!

     Nebuchadnezzar walked up to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and said, "Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, you servants of the most high God, come out and come here."  All the princes, and captains, and governors and the king's counselors gathered together there and saw that the three Hebrew children  had not been burnt by the fire. Not a hair of their heads was singed, or their clothes burned, there wasn't even the smell of smoke upon them. They were astonished! How could this be! Then Nebuchadnezzar said: "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and saved his servants who trusted in him, and who defied the king's word and risked their lives that they might not serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree: Any one who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces and its house shall be made a rubbish heap; for there is no god who can save in this way'"

    Then the king promoted the three Hebrew children to high offices in the province of Babylon.  Now wasn't that a good story? And what can we learn from it? Like the three Hebrew children we need to know God like we know our own mothers. When we get this kind of relationship with Him we will not have any desire to serve anyone else. Our faith will be so strong, we will know that God is able to deliver us out of any situation. The only thing that was burnt off the Hebrew children were the ropes that had them bound. We also will have things that bind us and keep us from being what God wants us to be, taken off.  I have found in my walk with the Lord that anything I really had a desire to do, God gave me the ability to do it. You can't loose when you serve the Lord with your whole heart. He says ask anything in His name, and believe, and He will do it! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Yes it pays to serve God all the days of your youth and life.
Story By: Brenda Beaty
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