Second Week in Lent, Thursday, March 17, 2022
Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and he changed his mind. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tied up and thrown into the blazing furnace while still wearing their robes, trousers, turbans, and other clothes. The king’s command was very strict, and the furnace was made so hot that the flames killed the strong soldiers who threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the furnace. Firmly tied, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell into the blazing furnace.
Then King Nebuchadnezzar was so surprised that he jumped to his feet. He asked the men who advised him, “Didn’t we tie up only three men and throw them into the fire?”
They answered, “Yes, O king.”
The king said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire. They are not tied up, and they are not burned. The fourth man looks like a son of the gods.”
Then Nebuchadnezzar went to the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, come out! Servants of the Most High God, come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out of the fire. When they came out, the governors, assistant governors, captains of the soldiers, and royal advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies. Their hair was not burned, their robes were not burned, and they didn’t even smell like smoke!
Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Their God has sent [God’s] angel and saved [God’s] servants from the fire! These three men trusted their God and refused to obey my command. They were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god other than their own. So I now give this command: Anyone from any nation or language who says anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn apart and have [their] house turned into a pile of stones. No other god can save [their] people like this.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the area of Babylon.
(New Century Version (NCV))
Loving Divine Family,
We enter your sacred prayer space seeking shelter from the harsh rulers and ways of the world. We are covered with the dirt and filth of a world gone mad as so many stray from your presence. They threaten to consume us. You remind us that your ways are more pure and powerful, and that we will remain protected as the furnaces burn and the seas boil around us.
All praise to you, O mysterious God! We feel trapped and helpless. Thank you that we can call out to you and you reveal to us you are with us. Thank you for your mysterious ways that save us and bless us. May we stay in your loving presence.
I am wrapped in your protection today, Loving Yahweh, and thank you for…
There is no other god besides you, LORD. Your ways are pure and perfect. Your love envelopes us and your angels protect us. As you refine and purify us, let your consuming love flow through the land to all who will hear our joyful singing.
With joy we praise you!
Cherie and Donovan Mutschler