17 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
18 “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath . . . giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
21 Then these men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.”
25 He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!”
26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire.
27 The fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.
28 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as Not To serve or worship any god except their own God.
The Father has a way of making Himself known in times of tragedy and distress. And so it was in March of 2002. A clean-up crew was working through the last remnants of the south tower at Ground Zero. A firefighter sifting through the debris made a remarkable discovery: A Bible fused to a chunk of heart-shaped steel and concrete rubble.
Shocked and in awe, the firefighter immediately took his discovery to Joel Meyerowitz. Meyerowitz was a record keeper and photographer assigned to work on Ground Zero. Meyerowitz said, “This shredded, burned and rubble – covered Bible came to me from the loving hands of a fireman.”
How is that even possible? If an infernal that was hot enough to melt steel and decompose concrete, how could the paper pages and cover of the Scriptures remain intact?
This is reminiscent of the three Jewish young men who were thrown into the fiery furnace and came out alive, unscathed. Only the cords that had bound them were totally burnt up and destroyed.
Perhaps the Father dispatched the same angel of the Lord that to preserve His open Bible in the midst of the fiery conflagration at the World Trade Center.
The story has a dual message. The first is that the Father will work in miraculous ways to preserve His word and has done so down through the ages.
REFLECT & PRAY
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. – Matthew 5:18
Father so many of the things that You ask us to do as mere humans are so hard and unnatural. Forgiveness is probably at the top of the list. All of Your children know what the Lord Jesus Christ said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Father I want to be a forgiver with extreme memory loss.
The second message is more personal. It is a message that all of the Father’s children know.
Meyerowitz, was totally speechless when his eyes fell on the Bible verses that were visible. The page was from the Sermon on the Mount found in the Gospel of Matthew. The paragraph header specifically addressed Retaliation. The words of Jesus in the King James Bible were clearly seen in red letters.
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
After the 9/11 attacks, most Americans were furious and wanted revenge. It was like Pearl Harbor all over again.
Tragedy and loss on the scale of 9/11 is not the exclusive domain in which anger dwells. Far lesser events cause us to want to lash out, to fight back, and get revenge. It is only natural. But the Father calls His children to a higher road. Regrettably, it is a road that too often we refuse to take. Rather than repay evil with evil, we are to forgive, and turn the other cheek and leave vengeance to Him. He entreats us to forgive, forget, and move forward.