#Retrospective — This post originally published October 23, 2019.
I could feel the heat from the blazing furnace even at this distance. The king’s anger against these men was as hot as the furnace. I had never seen anything like it. I was horrified to think that these men would be tossed into that furnace. They would be incinerated into nothing. The punishment seemed excessive, yet I didn’t dare mention it to the king.
I remained silent as the king’s soldiers struggled against the heat to drag the men to the furnace. I tried to watch, but turned my head because of the flames. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the soldiers drop dead from the intense heat and the three men, firmly tied, fell into the furnace. My heart sank as I realized these noble men were being burned alive. We were all silent as if to be mournful, but I tried not to show my distaste for the King’s method of executing these men. It was awful to watch.
“Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” The King blurted out as he sprang to his feet. It seemed like a silly question as we had just watched the three men tumble into the furnace. “Certainly, Your Majesty,” we replied in unison. “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods,” the king uttered in amazement.
“Impossible!” I thought. “The king’s rage was making him see things.” I turned my gaze toward the furnace and was startled to see not only three men, but a fourth walking around inside the furnace! It was just as the king said. My mouth gaped open in astonishment. How had they survived such intense heat that killed the soldiers ordered to toss them in and who is that fourth person?
Then the king approached the opening of the furnace. I wanted to grab him to stop him from being overcome by the flames like his soldiers. Yet I watched the four figures walking inside the flames, untouched. I stood silent as the king shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” The three figures inside the furnace walked out of the fire unbound. It was as if they had never been bound or even been inside those intense flames.
I joined the others who crowded around Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. “How could this be?” I thought. “It’s impossible.” Unlike the soldiers, the fire had not harmed their bodies. Not even a hair on their heads was singed. I had watched in horror as those soldiers were killed by the flames and yet the robes on these men were not scorched. There was not even the smell of fire on them. I glanced back in the flames, looking for that fourth figure. My heart ached as I longed to also see that person come out of the flames. Could that have been the God who saved them?
#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of a person who saw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego tossed into the furnace by Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3 (NIV).
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” – Ephesians 2:8
© 2019 CGThelen