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Matthew Bauer
 

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You are here:  blog  >  October 2010  >  The Fourth Person in the Fire

The Fourth Person in the Fire

fourth man in the fire At our team devotions this morning, one of our staff spoke on “The Fourth Person in the Fire”.  If nothing else, the title broke through for me with much needed hope and focus for today.  In Daniel chapter three, we see the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, as they refused to bow down to the idol of Nebuchadnezzar.  The King was so furious at their betrayal of him (especially since these young men had his favor – and don’t we know that it’s the people closest to us who often hurt us the most) that he ordered the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual, so hot that it killed the soldiers who threw them inside.  And I must note here that this shows some dedication on behalf of the soldiers.  I think I would have stopped long before I got that close and just pushed the young men in with a long stick.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”

They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

And no matter how many other directions you can go in teaching this story, I must say that what hits me the most right now is not the boys’ faithfulness and resolve to give even their lives unto worshiping God.  It’s not about Nebuchadnezzar’s conversion.  It’s not about ridding my life of idols or about the dedication of the soldiers.  What really gets me is the fourth person in the fire.

I don’t know what kind of fire you’re going through, but as I talk to people all over the country, I find the fires getting hotter and hotter and hotter.  Marriages on the rocks, people losing multiple family members in one day, cancer, addictions, financial difficulty… it seems all around me, the heat is rising.

But isn’t it comforting to know that there is a fourth person in the fire?  And he looks like the Son of God!

Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire.  And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.

And because of this one, who would walk through the fire with us, we have this promise that we will come out unharmed – that we won’t even smell of the smoke!  There won’t even be evidence of that fire in your life anymore, because of the one who walks with you.

Is it hot?  Yes.  Does it seem unfair or unjust?  Yes.  Is it uncomfortable and frightening and uncertain?  Yes, yes, and yes.  But just to know that there is a fourth person in the fire – what a difference that makes for me today!

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Thank you, Lord, that you’ve never left me nor forsaken me.  Thank you for walking with me through the fire, and thank you that even when I walk through these times when everything seems to be be going up in smoke around me, you’re there, and you say that I don’t need to be afraid.  You will bring me through, if I keep my eyes on you – if I put my trust in you – if I will just follow you and put you first in my life.  Then together, we will walk out victorious, without any sign of this trial that lingers on.  May it bring you all the glory.  Amen.

Posted: 10/1/2010 6:58:52 PM by Matthew Bauer | with 0 comments
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