The Dream Team: Understanding Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
“Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual…So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames. But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, ‘Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace…‘Look!’ Nebuchadnezzar shouted. ‘I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!’” Daniel 3:19-25
In sports, physicality can be intimidating. Whether it’s your height, the size of your muscles, or so on, your physical appearance can give off a powerful energy.
Growing up, I was slightly above average height for my age. As a high school freshman, I was 5’10. Volleyball was my sport and middle hitter was my position—mostly chosen due to my height. Still, I would go up against opponents that were over 6 feet, and they just seemed to tower over me. Although I dare not let it show on my face, going up against a 6-foot middle scared me. Preemptively, I would play out the situation in my head: high ball passed to the setter, their middle hitter rushes in to hit a quick set just barely above the plane of the net, and smash, right through my hands. Point scored for their team and my confidence diminished.
As I grew in my faith and my sport, I began to block out those negative, intimidating thoughts. Even against a 6’3 hitter, I learned to focus on my strengths and abilities. I began praying before each game or tournament, asking God to give me confidence in myself and asking Him to use me as a strong and courageous vessel. Over time, I learned that whatever happened, whether win or lose, God was on my side.
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had to do the same thing: trust in God even against an otherwise unstoppable force. When Nebuchadnezzar threw them into a fiery furnace for not worshipping his idol, it would seem like their end was near. However, despite being thrown into a furnace that was heated seven times the normal temperature, the three men did not let their faith in God falter.
In the end, God showed up, protected His children, and the three men walked out of the furnace unscathed.
While we might not face a fiery furnace on a daily basis, our insecurities and fears are just as important to God, the Father. God is with us and protects us in all circumstances. Today, if you’re feeling like you’re up against an immovable or unstoppable force or opponent, reach out to God today! You might be surprised at what obstacles you can face with Him on your side.
- Have you ever felt insecure or scared of something that you couldn’t handle by yourself? What was your response?
- Has there been a time where you felt God’s protection over you? How did you feel?
2 Samuel 22:3-4; Psalm 72:4
“Heavenly Father, thank You for always protecting me. With you, I know I can get through anything. I love You.”