Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego and the Gift of Faith
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego and the Gift of Faith
By Geoff Stokes (Levin, New Zealand)
This miraculous, faith account of these three Hebrew young men has often been given a less than favourable interpretation over the years. So, here’s how it actually comes out in the King James Version. In Daniel 3:1-15, we read the account of how King Nebuchadnezzar had made a magnificent golden statue some 90 feet high and about 9 feet wide. The king had gathered together every official in his kingdom to come to its dedication. When the orchestra played, they all had to bow down to it or be burnt to a crisp in a burning fiery furnace. However, three young Hebrew officials in the Babylonian kingdom (Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego) refused to bow. The king was extremely angry about this, and gave them one more chance to comply and gave them this ultimatum, in verse 15:
“. . . but if ye (you) worship not, ye (you) will be cast the same hour into a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:15).
King Nebuchadnezzar makes the ‘fatal’ mistake of challenging the Almighty God directly by essentially making himself above God Himself. Though it was in ignorance, he needed to be taught who was who and just where he stood in the order of things. So, the stage was set for a miracle:
“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee (you) in this matter” (Daniel 3:16).
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego did not hesitate for one second to answer. They didn’t have a prayer meeting, a committee meeting, or attempt to compromise or negotiate in any way. They had NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER what was going to happen. GOD WAS GOING TO DELIVER THEM NO MATTER WHAT! That is a gift of faith right there – NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER. TOTAL CERTAINTY!
In the King James Version, this is clearly evident in the next two verses. The wording is crucial here, so I will emphasize the points as I go: “If it be so . . .” (Daniel 3:17).
This is a direct answer to King Nebuchadnezzar’s threat in Verse 15. It means: “If it be so, (that you will cast us into the burning fiery furnace) our God is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king” (Daniel 3:17).
Not only did they boldly claim that God would deliver them out of a searing hot furnace, but they had the audacity to directly challenge the king’s claim about God delivering them out of his hand. That was a personal affront to King Nebuchadnezzar and he was livid; absolutely beside himself with rage. However, even before the king got that angry, the three also calmly stated: “But if not . . .” (Daniel 3:18).
This is directly stated after Verse 17, and means: But if you don’t, throw us into the burning fiery furnace. It DOES NOT MEAN if God does not deliver us! So, the whole two verses, in context, go like this:
“If it be so, (that you will cast us into the fiery furnace) our God is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, (if you don’t throw us into the burning fiery furnace) be it known unto thee (you), O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which thou (you) hast (have) set up” (Daniel 3:17-18).
Verses 15-18 together are packed with so much faith it is incredible. That is why they were operating in a gift of faith. A special endowment of faith above what one would normally have received from God.
As a result of this, these men, despite being thrown into the fire were delivered, totally untouched by the flame. Furthermore, this was a lesson to the king, because, whereas others had approached the furnace to throw the young men in, they were destroyed. However, when the king approached and saw “four men loose and one of them is like the Son of God,” he did not get destroyed, because God wanted to teach him a lesson. That God is God, and he, the king, is not. This so impacted King Nebuchadnezzar, that he passed a law stating:
“That every people, nation and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill (rubbish heap): because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort” (Daniel 3:29).
In the same way that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego saw the wonderful works of God when they put their trust in Him, so we can also experience the wonderful works of God if we have faith in Jesus Christ His Son.
When people asked Jesus, how to work the works of God, He answered: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29, NKJV).
The only way that we will ever experience the wonderful, miraculous power of God is when we “believe in Him (Jesus Christ) whom He (God) has sent.”
Jesus said: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23, NKJV).
That is exactly what Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego did. They absolutely believed, without a shadow of a doubt, that they would be delivered from the burning fiery furnace. If we also believe, and have NO DOUBT, we will receive our requests from God too, according to His will.
James, the Lord’s brother, understood this when he said:
“If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything of the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:5-8, NKJV).
Faith, especially the gift of faith, has absolutely no doubt in it, and is completely in line with the Scriptural principles of God. This is so that you can be absolutely certain that you will receive what you ask for.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14, NKJV).
That is another word that is the embodiment of faith ~ CONFIDENCE! The word ‘confidence’ comes from the Greek word ‘parreshia’, and means ‘all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication, assurance:- bold, (boldly, boldness, boldness of speech) (edited), (Strong’s Concordance).
Jesus also said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12, NKJV).
How wonderful, that when we truly BELIEVE, we can experience CONFIDENCE, BOLDNESS, AN ABILTY TO BE OUTSPOKEN, and be WITHOUT DOUBT, that we can experience the wonderful, miraculous power of God working for us.
Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel (good news) of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16, NKJV).
What amazingly good news that is! God bless you in the mighty Name of Jesus as you receive these truths.