As I am studying this week's Bible Lesson on Man, I am looking for fresh insights into the familiar story of the three Hebrew men thrown into the fiery furnace. Today I was wondering why they stayed in there?
The Bible account tells how the king saw them walking around free. All that had burned were the bonds that had been holding them. And they were not alone. A fourth figure was with them, one the king described as 'like the Son of God'. The four of them were walking right in the midst of that furnace. So it must have been huge. And it was heated seven times hotter than usual.
But they stayed in there. Why?
Perhaps they were deep in discussion with the Son of God. Pretty special since Jesus did not appear in the flesh until many years after that experience. One can only guess what they must have been talking about.
Another consideration is that they had dominion over this situation that appeared so fatal. We have all found ourselves in challenging circumstances we would rather not have experienced. Many have made a demonstration over the conditions. These men were innocent of any wrong doing, in fact, they had refused to worship any other god and were willing to trust in the one true God for their deliverance. Maybe they were tiding up any loose ends, such as resentment against those who put them there. Maybe it was important for the healing to be complete that they did NOT come out of there until all could see its powerlessness to harm them.
They did not leave the furnace until the king called them forth. And all those who had conspired to put them in there could see they were totally unharmed in their body, their clothes, their hair. Why, not even the smell of smoke lingered to say they had ever been touched by the flames.
Wouldn't we all like to 'come out' of some 'furnace' experience so confident of the blessing that nothing remained to suggest we had ever been in any such place.
That section of the Lesson ends with this from Colossians: "...your life is hid with Christ in God." There's certainly had been. The Christ was present, right there to prove they were not alone or separated from Love at any time, in any place, under any circumstances. Their reward for their faithfulness was a one-on-one visit with the Christ.
Lots to ponder today.