Tabernacle Tuesday
~ Week Three ~
June 23, 2020
Daniel ~ Chapter Three
"Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego,
who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him,
and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies,
that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!"
(Daniel 3:28)

Morning Meditation : Read Daniel 3:1-18

Daniel was chosen for special service in the court of the king of Babylon, but his royal appointment was the work of the Sovereign King of kings who providentially places His servants in positions of honor and responsibility to accomplish His plans for His people (consider the placement and promotion of Joseph to provide for His people in time of famine (Genesis 41:37-57); and Esther and Mordecai to protect His people from annihilation (Esther)). In each case, God's people were tested and tried at various points to refine and purify their testimony, and to develop their character and faith, that they might advance the work of God Most High and bring glory to His sovereign name in the midst of their generation (1 Peter 1:6, 7). Daniel and his three friends were no exception; from the beginning of their time in exile, they remained faithful to the commands of God and continued fervently in prayer. Their times of testing revealed a faith that did not wither, but instead flourished in the hour of trial. Their resolute obedience to God and gracious submission before the authorities resulted in recognition and reward, bringing great honor and glory to God.

Not many years earlier, Nebuchadnezzar had, himself, fallen on his face prostrate before Daniel, praising the God of Israel for revealing the interpretation of his dream through His trusted servant, saying, "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret" (2:47). But, rather than worship the supreme God of divine knowledge, the foolish ruler, instead, built for himself a competitor with Daniel's God - a gigantic copy of the image from his dream; and he commanded all the government officials to gather on the plain of Dura for its' dedication where they would be required to pledge their allegiance to his empire by bowing down and worshiping the image. The monstrous, lifeless image, plated entirely in gold, was over ninety feet tall standing on a pedestal; it provided the perfect centerpiece for the senseless worship service, which included all kinds of music, revealing that this was no ordinary political gathering. "To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace" (vv. 4-6). The herald made it known that their response was a matter of life and death, and the idolatrous non-believing crowd blindly believed the king's command and bowed down; but Daniel's three friends believed and obeyed the commandments of the King of kings and stood their ground. "You shall have no other gods before shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God..." (Exodus 20:3, 5a).

"If this is the case our God whom we serve
is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,
and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
But if not, let it be known to you, O king,
that we do not serve your gods,
nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."
(Daniel 3:17-18)

The disobedience (or rather, obedience) of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did not go unnoticed as they stood valiantly for the Lord on the great plain of Dura. While the crowds all around them bowed before Nebuchadnezzar's golden image, their accusers were waiting to pounce with their malicious charges against the three Hebrews, and immediately called attention to their criminal act before the king. Furious, the king called for an audience with the malefactors; yet they stood before the angry king as they had stood on the plain, calm and courageous, confident that they were standing in the will of God, with faith that the Lord was in control of their circumstances as well as the consequences for their obedience to His righteous commands. "...You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them" (Mark 13:9b). Nebuchadnezzar gave them an opportunity to change their minds, but they respectfully refused to compromise with their true King's commands, having placed their lives in His sovereign hands. "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up" (Daniel 3:16-18). They were fully resigned to the will of God, therefore, the outcome was irrelevant; they had chosen to suffer rather than sin; to disobey the king of Babylon and risk death, rather than dishonor the King of Israel and suffer His displeasure. "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day " (2 Timothy 1:12). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego recognized God's sovereignty and power, and they believed God could deliver them, but they trusted Him even if He didn't. Nebuchadnezzar's golden image stood stoic on the plain as a beacon for the dead, false worship system of Babylon, but the faith of these courageous three would be proved genuine in the fiery furnace, and the image of God stamped upon them would be revealed as pure gold, illuminating the presence and power of God in the midst of His people. The fiery furnace is commonplace for the Christian, for it is through much tribulation that we inherit the kingdom (Acts 14:22); so we should not be surprised when we fall into various trials. "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy" (1 Peter 4:12). Let us praise our heavenly Father for His great love for us, and for the preciousness that He sees within us that necessitates His having to place us in the furnace to make us purer still, so that we will reflect the infinite perfections of His glorious Son to a lost and dying world (1 John 3:1-3).

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while,
if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
that the genuineness of your faith,
being much more precious than gold that perishes,
though it is tested by fire,
may be found to praise, honor, and glory
at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
(1 Peter 1:6, 7)
Afternoon Devotion : Read Daniel 3:19-30

The response of the three men enraged the king, and his countenance toward them changed, making him all the more determined to see them destroyed. Nebuchadnezzar ordered the furnace to be heated "seven times more than it was usually heated" (v. 19b); then they were cast bound, with their clothes on, into the burning fiery furnace, and they fell down, into the midst of the furnace. Nebuchadnezzar's mighty men of valor were killed at the door of the furnace by the flames of the fire, but Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego fell into the midst of it. They did not lose their life by the flame or by the fall, the only thing they lost was the bonds that tied them. They were set free only upon entering the fire, for it is in the midst of the fiery trial that the Lord breaks off the cords that hold His people captive to fear, doubt, self, and sin, and enables us to walk at liberty, without limping, among the flames, braver, bolder, with joy and peace. All the things we hold on to or depend upon, rather than Christ, God will consume in the furnace of affliction, whether by persecutions, oppression, temptation, sorrow, or physical suffering - for we are precious to Him. "For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29). The Lord will do whatever is necessary to purify us and rid us of all other idolatrous images that taint His glorious image in which we were created. "He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness" (Malachi 3:3).

"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."
(Daniel 3:25)

There they were in the midst of the fire, walking at ease as they usually did, as if they were going about their usual business - the way the Christian believer is supposed to walk - but not alone! Christ Jesus was with them; He was with them in the midst of their terrible trial, and the furnace was transformed into a garden, with the Lord walking with them as if in the cool of the day. He did not leave them to suffer alone; He suffered right alongside with them (Hebrews 4:15). They were blessed in their trial, for the fire had no power over them, and the presence of the Lord was a great comfort to them. "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5b, 6). It is in the fiery furnace that we experience the nearness of Christ the best; therefore, we need not fear evil nor death, for God is with us! When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came out of the fire, the presence of the fourth withdrew, and no evidence remained of their ever having been in danger. "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" (Daniel 3:27). They had been saved completely. What they had lost (their bonds) was consumed in the fire, and what remained became a brilliant witness of the power and presence of the Most High God. "...there is no God who can deliver like this" (v. 29b). They were living miracles; and so is anyone who accepts the salvation offered by the Lord Jesus. In these last days, the furnace of affliction and opposition burns with increasing intensity, the heat of which is causing many to weaken in the faith and bow down to the god of this age, rather than proving the genuineness of their faith and emboldening them to rise up and stand against its ungodly influences. The Lord has provided us a wonderful reminder, through the lives of Daniel and his friends, of His ever-present help in time of trouble and His sovereign power and rule over His enemies who persecute His people and attempt to hinder His kingdom work. May we walk through the fiery furnace of affliction and opposition as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego did, by faith and not by sight, willing to face the fiery flames of persecution and death rather than deny the truth, bringing honor and glory to God. And may our faith be found to be genuine, becoming more deeply rooted with each new trial. Let us pray fervently for our struggling brothers and sisters in Christ, as they face the temptations of this present age that come forcibly upon them like waves against a ship that is not firmly anchored in the storm, that they would be driven nearer to Christ, and not drift further from the security of the Saviors' shore (Hebrews 6:19-20).

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; You are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
(Isaiah 43:1a, 2-4a)
Evening Prayer : "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times a day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days." (Daniel 6:10)

Just click or tap the You Tube image below
or tap HERE.
As we travel through the Book of Daniel
we want to focus on following the example of his faith,
but as we do, let us prayerfully consider setting aside
Tuesdays as "fast" days,
as we feast upon the goodness and grace of our Lord this summer
(consider a full day fast, a partial fast, or a Daniel fast (v.12))

"For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and His kingdom is from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing;
He does according to His will in the army of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth.
No one can restrain His hand or say to Him,
"What have You done?"
(Daniel 4:34b, 35)
Scripture Meditations for the Week:

Wednesday: 1 Peter 1:6-7
Thursday: 1 Peter 4:12
Friday: James 1:2-3
Saturday: John 12:24-26
Sunday: Isaiah 43:1-4
Monday: Psalm 91

Journal: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Memory Verse for the Week:

"Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego,
who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him,
and they have frustrated the king's word, and yielded their bodies,
that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!"
(Daniel 3:28)
Read about 2020 The Year of Divine Government HERE

A Proclamation of Prayer for the Pandemic
(with links to the YouTube ANOINTING prayers through the Psalms)
to provide peace and to encourage faith in times of crisis
when fear, doubt, and uncertainty try to rob us of our joy!
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"Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me, hear, and your soul shall live."
(Isaiah 55:2, 3a)
P.O. Box 5933 Williamsburg, VA 23188 |
Setting the world on fire for Christ ~ One heart at a time!
TESTIFY to the gospel of the grace of God
a 12-week devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Book of Daniel
copyright (c) 2020 Traci A. Alexander. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., and the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.