then nebuchadnezzar was furious with shadrach, meshach and abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. he ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up shadrach, meshach and abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. so these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. the king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up shadrach, meshach and abednego, and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. [daniel 3:19-23]


the truth inciting fury

have you ever believed the lie that “if i say things just right, people will understand; it’s when i mess up that people get mad”? there is value in speaking with intentionality and gentleness, but sometimes the truth just makes people mad, no matter how we frame it. nebuchadnezzar, the man with the world under his feet, finds these three perhaps the only people in which he is not in command: their hearts are the one place he is not sovereign. no matter how gently or boldly they speak, this truth is going to get them killed if nebuchadnezzar gets his way—and he always has so far.

if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. [john 15:20b] if we hold fast to what is good (1 thess. 5:21), we will suffer for the good, for the gospel of Christ. let us pray that the Lord will reverse this inner prosperity gospel in us—that thankfulness for the good news of Christ crucified and resurrected for us would give us endurance, as we meet with expectation the fury of those who hate the truth to which we cling.

Lord, grow worship in our hearts. grow thankfulness; grow endurance; grow humble boldness. you are worthy—sustain us as we suffer for you, and may our love for you extend to those who want to persecute us! We believe; help us in our unbelief!


~ stephen hall