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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Fourth Man

The Fourth Man

“Suddenly, King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in alarm and said, “Didn’t we throw three men, bound hand and foot, in the fire?...But look! I see four men walking around freely in the fire completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of gods.” Daniel 3:24-25

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in King Nebuchadnezzar’s castle on this day. To see these three Hebrew boys talk smack (respectfully and boldly) to the king and take a stand for God would have been amazing. Just reading this story fuels my faith. Doesn’t it yours?

I can just imagine King Nebuchadnezzar enjoying the sight of everyone bowing down to him, only to have his vain moment of glory interrupted by these three Hebrew boys who refused to worship any god other than the one true God, Jehovah. They are called out by the king and he “graciously” gives them another chance to bow down to him at the sound of the trumpet, to which they confidently told him that the band didn’t even need to wet their whistles. They had already purposed in their hearts where their devotion would be and they weren’t budging. We know the story, Nebuchadnezzar had these three boys bound and thrown into the fiery furnace, which was turned up seven times hotter than normal. I am not real sure why it says that it was turned up. I mean when you think about it, fire kills no matter how hot. Anyway, suffice it to say, the furnace was hot! So hot, in fact, that the Word of God says it consumed the guards that threw the boys in.

Can’t you just see it? Just as the king began to relish in the “I showed them” thoughts, he catches a glimpse into the window of the furnace. Once again, his heart skips a beat and he “jumps up in alarm”. (vs. 24) Not only does he see four men walking in the fire, but we are told that they were “walking around freely and unharmed”, and the fourth man obviously had a distinct look of deity because he says, “the fourth man looks like a son of gods”.

In the middle of these three boys’ darkest hour, God showed up and walked with them. Oh, they were full of faith, but I don’t think for a minute that they were any different from you and me. I don’t think the story is meant to portray three boys of incredible bravery and unquenchable faith, but rather three young men that had a powerful Source as the object of their faith. They believed that either way, in life or in death, God was able to see them through and get the glory through their obedience.

Don’t you want to have a life like this? We all face furnaces in our journey of life and some are “hotter” than others. It may be a financial furnace, relational furnace, a physical furnace that deals with our health or that of a loved one, or even death. Whatever it may be, we can look at the fire and say with confidence, “My God is able!” We aren’t walking through the fire alone and there are always people on the outside watching our journey. Some may simply get a glimpse into our furnace and others may stop long enough to actually peer inside and observe the drama unfolding. It is my desire to walk through the furnaces that God allows in my life in such a way that those passing by will be able to see the “Fourth Man” walking with me!

Lord, thank you that you are Able. Thank you that we can trust you and, whether you lead us around a furnace or straight into the fire, we can follow you with confidence that you are with us every step of the way. Enable us to walk in such a way that others can see You walking with us and the freedom, peace, and ultimate safety that comes from only You!

You can read more from me and the Steps In Our Journey Here

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Blogger Denise said...

Awesome post, bless you sweetie.

June 18, 2008 at 4:05 AM  
Blogger Homesteader in Training said...

That was a great post. I loved it. It spoke directly to my heart. Keep it up. May the Lord continue to lead you as you write these devotionals.

June 18, 2008 at 5:31 AM  
Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

Courage under fire...that's the kind of faith I want to have when the heat gets turned up!

June 18, 2008 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I love this story. I love their faith. I pray for a similar portion.

Have a great day.


June 18, 2008 at 8:12 AM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Hi, I haven't heard this story in a very long time. How amazing! Thanks for your post! Cindi

June 18, 2008 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Tammy, I am right there with you. I too want to walk out this journey in such a way that the heart of God is seen in the midst.

Thanks for sharing your heart.


June 18, 2008 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

I think your prayer at the end says it all:

"Lord, thank you that you are Able. Thank you that we can trust you and, whether you lead us around a furnace or straight into the fire, we can follow you with confidence that you are with us every step of the way."

All I can say is "Amen!"

June 19, 2008 at 12:13 AM  

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It is good to hear from you... thank you so very much for leaving a note on the table. That makes us smile!

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