Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “O people of every nation and language, this is what you are commanded: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into the blazing fiery furnace.” But there are some Jews you have appointed to manage the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—who have ignored you, O king, and have refused to serve your gods or worship the golden statue you have set up.” – Daniel 3:4-6,12 BSB.
This story of the 3 Hebrew Children is so relevant to us today. The Bible is filled with types, shadows, examples in an earlier time, of what will happen at a later time. I have heard Bible commentators explain how this scenario is akin to the end of times, to the Great Tribulation that will precede the Second coming of our Messiah. See Hebrews 8:5 and 10:1, Colossians 2:17; These are a shadow of the things to come,…. As I call out America and the church for disobeying God’s will and word, there are many Christians who attack me. Accuse me of DISDAIN for human life. It is knowledge of the scripture and the anger of God, which I seek and see. My disdain for Mankind is no different than God’s, see Genesis 6:6, Jeremiah 17:9, Mark 10:18. So many Holier than thou Christians attacking other Christians- because they want to preach Spiritual puffery and this ‘God loves you no matter what you do’, or how many babies we kill, or how debase we get as a society. God destroyed the earth by a flood, and promised that He would never destroy it by a flood again, so to mark His covenant we were given a RAINBOW that was taken by people PROUD to be GAY and flaunt what God calls sin, as great and wonderful. But God does promise that the earth WILL BE DESTROYED, this time by a fire! For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:10)
Leader, this whole story of the 4 Hebrew children in Daniel is a TYPE, a SHADOW of the GREAT TRIBULATION! Just like Noah and the Flood, was a picture of Jesus saving us through the Tribulations of Life, being Baptized into a NEW LIFE, the fiery furnace is a SHADOW of how God can guide us through Jacob’s Trouble and the Great Tribulation. We should NOT be surprised by the TRIBULATION and persecution we go through. It might be surprising that the church is as active in attacking the Bible believing Christians as the world is, but God tells us clearly- it is coming! Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (1 Peter 4:12) Daniel is a book full of visions and wisdom and lessons to learn and shadows and types. In the book of Revelation we are told that God is going to seal 144,000 Jews. 12,000 from the 12 tribes. The Bible is very clear these will be Jews, not Jehovah’s witnesses, not some strange new sect but from the 12 tribes- Jews. And as God says even though we will face TRIBULATION, we were not MADE FOR WRATH- the Great Tribulation. Again the Bible is clear the GREAT TRIBULATION has 2 purposes; To bring the Jews back into the fold, and to deal with the curse on the planet. God disciplines His children, He is not a wife beater. The church is His bride! But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of our hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9)
Conduit, in the Beginning of the book of Daniel we read about the diaspora, the removal of “royal” Jews from Israel to Babylon. Among these young men were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. (Daniel 1:6) We hear how these Jewish boys, the 4 of them, would not eat, or drink or follow the customs of the Babylonians, but would honor their God and their way of life. It is said that there is as little as 2 years between Daniel 2 and Daniel 3- some commentators put it at over 20 years that has elapsed. The King, was most likely re-exerting his power over his people and so this hard edict came down to establish Nebuchadnezzar s dominance. If you read the beginning of Daniel 1 it was clear, everybody was in town so that ALL would bow down to the IMAGE and proclaim Babylon the greatest and Nebuchadnezzar as a God! And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. (Revelation 13:15) Again, notice the similarities, the TYPE or SHADOW of things to come. The three boys were protected through the fire, just like the 144,000 who will be marked at the end. They will be taken THROUGH THE FIRE of the GREAT TRIBULATION. Suddenly King Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and asked his advisers, “Did we not throw three men, firmly bound, into the fire?” “Certainly, O king,” they replied. “Look!” he exclaimed. “I see four men, unbound and unharmed, walking around in the fire—and the fourth looks like a son of the gods!” (Daniel 3:24-25) Then this important question, “Where was Daniel?” It is clear to know that Daniel was NOT THERE, because he would NOT HAVE BOWED. See Daniel 1 and Daniel 6. Daniel is a picture of the church. Daniel was COINCIDENTLY somewhere else. He was on a mission for the King, or something, but God had arranged for Daniel to NOT BE PRESENT in the situation, so He never had to face the FIRE, because He wasn’t there to go through the predicament! Just like God will remove His church, His bride from the GREAT TRIBULATION. Notice how Daniel comes back in chapter 4, just like the church comes back with Jesus. Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. (Revelation 19:11-14) That is why we are on a rescue mission! Yes, our lives are filled with Tribulation, struggles, oppression. However the DAY OF THE LORD, the GREAT TRIBULATION, JACOB’S TROUBLE was not intended for the church and Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego show us how God will deal with His children, both JEW and GENTILE in the time that is about to be UPON US! Get close to the SHEPHERD! For the wolves go after those who are farthest from the Shepherd, for those on the fringes! This Christmas season remember the true gift of GOD, deliverance from the FIERY FURNACE!