In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar erected a huge, golden image ninety feet tall and summoned every leader from his far-flung empire to a dedication ceremony. Once they arrived, however, Nebuchadnezzar commanded that they all bow in worship before the image and if they defied the order, they were to die.
Three of Daniel’s friends—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—refused to bow. These men, along with Daniel, had been taken captive from Jerusalem. It was not unusual in those days to punish violators of the king’s decrees by casting them into a burning oven (see Jeremiah 29:22).
When the guards brought the three Hebrew men before the king, he bellowed at them, “So! You refused to bow before this image? I am going to give you one more chance. If you don’t bow this time, you’ll be thrown into a burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:14-15).
The three Hebrews were finally cast into the furnace. But the king was puzzled. There had been no sudden flash of roasting bodies, no smell of burning flesh. He peered into the fire—and was astonished at what he saw!
The three Hebrew men were walking about on top of the coals. The fire had only burned the ropes they had been tied with—and now their hands were raised, praising God. Nebuchadnezzar turned to one of his associates and said, “How many men did we throw in there?”
“Three, O king,” came the answer.
“But I see four! And none of them is burning. None is even hurt. And one of them has the appearance of the Son of God!” (See Daniel 3:24-25)
Jesus came into these men’s crisis for one reason—for their sake alone! He came to comfort and rescue them because he loved them. The Lord of glory committed himself to them in their hour of crisis—because they were totally committed to him!