Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
Turning Up the Heat
My wife and I love to engage in thermostat wars. She likes it warm. I like it cool. I won’t tell you who normally wins.
But there are times when it’s too hot for both of us—summertime in the kitchen, when the oven and all four stove burners are on. You can’t open the window; it’s 100 degrees outside. And the air conditioner can’t keep up. It’s gotten too hot in the kitchen. We agree!
The world loves to turn the heat up on God’s people, especially those who strive to remain faithful to his holy, saving Word. But that shouldn’t come as any particular surprise. Jesus promised it, and his promises are always perfectly fulfilled. The night before he died, he promised his disciples, “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).
In Matthew 24, he also promised that in the last days, the heat would become too much for some. “At that time,” he said, “many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” Why? Because the heat will get too hot in the kitchen.
Why does Jesus make such promises? So that when the world starts turning up the heat on his people, they’re not surprised. They’ll rejoice (Matthew 5:11,12; 1 Peter 4:12,13).
When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to obey King Nebuchadnezzar’s ungodly order, the king turned up the heat and ordered them into the furnace. They didn’t kick and scream. They didn’t deny their faith. They didn’t complain about unfairness. They put their trust in God, knowing that in Jesus, the victory was already theirs.
God’s people will feel the heat. But when they do, they rejoice. Because Jesus always keeps his promises. It’s true.
Dear Jesus, thank you for graciously giving us confidence in you by always keeping your promises. Amen.