Friday, December 14, 2018

Advent Angels 14

Read: Daniel 3

This story is set in Babylon, where the Jewish people had been taken into exile. Three young Jewish men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, have found favour with King Nebuchadnezzar and risen to high office in his court. But Nebuchadnezzar is a megalomaniac, and decides to set up a golden statue of himself and command that everyone should bow down before it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, as good Jews, are not prepared to do this, and as a result, are thrown into a furnace so hot that that the flames kill those who put them into it.

King Nebuchadnezzar is astonished to see, though, that not only are the three men not burned up, but that there seems to be a fourth in the furnace with them, “and the fourth has the appearance of a god”. When the three men are called to come out, their hair is not even singed, and they don’t smell of the fire. Nebuchadnezzar praises God who has “sent his angel and delivered his servants who trusted in him.”

·         What do you think of this story of miraculous deliverance? What about those who are faithful and yet are not delivered from trouble? Can this story still be an encouragement to them?

·         The angel in this story does nothing except be present with the three men. Is it sometimes enough simply to know that God is with us, even if we are not miraculously delivered? Have you experienced this in your life?

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