When you experience unfairness in life, the examples of the prophet Daniel and his three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will give you encouragement and direction. Despite their lives of obedience, Daniel and his friends weren’t protected from God’s judgment on their nation, Judah. Innocence doesn’t automatically protect you from tragedy. But you do have the assurance that God is concerned about what you’re doing, and He will honor your faithfulness and obedience.
Daniel and his friends sought to live according to God’s plan, but they found that others opposed their efforts. This led initially to great danger, but ultimately a great victory. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to walk through a fiery furnace because they obeyed God. Only the ropes that bound them were burned by the fire.
Then when he was 80 years old, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions because he was faithful to God, but he walked out unscathed. God used these trials to bring blessings to his servants and glory to himself. As you seek to be obedient to God, he may lead you into some difficult situations. But more often than not God uses such trails to strengthen your character and bless you.
If Daniel and his friends hadn’t believed that God was sovereign, they might have decided that compromise was better than risking their lives. But then they wouldn’t have experienced the glorious victories God gave them. What an affirmation of God’s faithfulness!
Nebuchadnezzar was one of the greatest conquerors in the history of our world. He came to dominate the people of many nations. He possessed power, fame, and wealth. At one point, he even considered himself to be a god. But, like so many others, he lacked the one thing he needed the most: peace. His insecurities wouldn’t allow him to be at peace with himself. So how could he be at peace with others? He was a man who was unhappy with himself and hostile toward the people around him. Can you relate?
Nubuchadnezzar never truly discovered the peace that could’ve been found had he surrendered his life to God. He did everything he could to maintain his power over others. Remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? When they walked out of the fiery furnace unscathed, Nebuchadnezzar realized that he’d been thwarted by God. He also saw that the three who surrendered their lives to God had far greater power at their disposal than even he had. Despite his recognition of God’s power, however, the king’s pride continued to get the best of him.
Nebuchadnezzar continued to brag about his greatness and claimed that he alone was responsible for the great city of Babylon. He refused to recognize that all power’even his power’was granted by God. Subsequently he never understood the blessing of peace that comes with surrendering to God. Do you know this blessing of peace?