See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Is. 48:10 NIV
He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Mal. 3:3
*Affliction means- trouble, misery, poverty, depression, distressed, hardships
* Meant for our good! A tool to refine, to try, to trouble, to purify.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity
Daniel 3 NKJV
The Image of Gold
Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its width six cubits. He set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
2 And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
3 So the satraps, the administrators, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
4 Then a herald cried aloud: “To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,
5 that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up;
6 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.”
7 So at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the horn, flute, harp, and lyre, in symphony with all kinds of music, all the people, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the gold image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
❗Pride built a 90 foot ( 60 cubits) tall self exalting image
❗The witchcraft/ Divination of the land manifesting through idol worship.
❗When the Sound was released, the people were commanded to bow.
Daniel’s Friends Disobey the King
8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and accused the Jews.
9 They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever!
10 You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, andpsaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the gold image;
11 and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
12 There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego; these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you. They do not serve your gods or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king.
14 Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?
15 Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, andpsaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
17 If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver usfrom your hand, O king.
18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
❗ Accuser of brethren works through chaldeans to accuse the Jews.
❗Intimidation tactics with threats are used
❗The Jews are actually doing what’s right, taking a stand and refusing to conform, refusing to worship a false god/idol
❗The Jews take a bold, courageous stand, even unto death.
Saved in Fiery Trial
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
20 And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?”
They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”
25 “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
❗Nebuchadnezzar fills with rage, his face manifesting fury
❗The EVIL Kings army binds the Jews
❗ They force them into the furnace
What Nebuchadnezzar failed to understand is that the Son of God was with the Jews, no matter where they were.
God was permitting this affliction. Afflictions are mentioned many times throughout the bible. Fire, furnace metaphors several times.
Afflictions do not arise out of the dust.
So that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this! 1 Thess. 3:3
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Is. 43:2
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.Ps. 34:19
❗There is a literal furnace, the furnace of affliction is gracious, refining and PURIFYING us so that we do not expirence the literal for eternity
❗ Many are in the furnace of affliction, but the holy fire starts with dousing!
We should be Expecting the BAPTISM in FIRE!
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matt. 13:41-42
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. 1Pet. 4:12
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 1 Pet. 4 :13-14
May the spirit of glory and of God rest on you!