In the fire, the Fourth Man appears
It’s quiet in my home. Stepping out to my kitchen, I refill my mug with coffee. In the corner, the lights of the tree twinkle peace, and I can feel the presence of the Friend.
Outside the window, the pine stands sentinel. In morning’s dawning hour, the snow’s begun. Soft, fine, feathery, it softens the prickly edge of every needle, every branch. As we were sleeping, an angel came with a celestial shaker, dusting the world with powdered sugar.
Coffee in hand, I curl up once more with my festive blanket, woolly and warm in buffalo checks. And at once, I hear the ancient words I’d found some weeks ago, “Then what god will save you?”
Picking up the leather-bound Book, I find the familiar story. Three Hebrew children, exiled in a foreign land, serving a foreign king. Flipping the tissue-thin pages, I read it again, how a king who loved himself built an idol. How he called for every government official. How he assembled a band. How he demanded a dedication. How he issued a decree.
At the sound of the music, every knee was to bow in worship of the golden statue. To anyone who would not bow would come a most dreadful and dire sentence–they would be thrown into the fires of a furnace. And cue the drums, here come those boys.
Even now, I can see them; three stalwart, devout young men. An enemy king has called for them to be brought before him. He questions them. They will not bend. He rages. They refuse to bow. He threatens. They do not break.
It is here that the king thunders those gripping words, “THEN WHAT GOD WILL SAVE YOU?”
If you’ve read the story, you know how it ends, but it’s a message we’re needing today. The three young men are bound. They are cast into the mouth of hell, a fire so hot that the soldiers who tossed them in, they die. The king watches, expecting to see them consumed. But all at once…
He leaps to his feet. “Weren’t there three men? Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound, unharmed, and the fourth Man looks like the Son of God!”
From the flames of the king’s fire, they emerge. They walk out, unbound, unharmed, untouched. That day, the king, who has witnessed a miracle, acknowledges the one, true God. “No other god can save in this way.”
When we find ourselves in the fires of affliction, the enemy whispers his hideous questions, “What god will save you now? What hope is there for you? You might as well give up, give in. God isn’t coming through.”
It is precisely in the fire that the Fourth Man appears. It is in the face of such a faith that will not bend or bow or break that the ground is laid for a miracle. It is exactly when we must not give in, give up, or go away.
If this is you, do not leave your post. Do not abandon your faith. Do not listen any longer to satan’s doubts and questions and lies. Resolve to follow God straight into the fire, and He will meet you there.
As a wicked king once said, “No other God can save in this way.”
You, my friend, are about to find that out.