Like A Son of the Gods
As we were going through the line filling our plates at Rotary on Tuesday, I got to talk to an elder in a local church. One of our friends had just gotten the word that pancreatic cancer had metastasized. The medical prognosis wasn’t good. “Dave, I went by to comfort our friend and was reminded again Jesus’ peace is beyond understanding. It’s tough, but Jesus is so present.” Pancreatic cancer is the searing, fiery furnace our friend and his entire family are now walking in. It’s a good time to be reminded again who showed up the second Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego fell into the middle of those flames.
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was terrified. He quickly got up and summoned his high-ranking royal officials. ‘Weren’t there three men that we threw bound into the midst of the fire?’ They replied, ‘This is certainly the case, O King!’ The king responded and said, ‘Then take a look! I see four men lose, not hurt, and walking around in the midst of the blazing fire and the appearance of the fourth is like the son of gods. “
“Is this fourth person an angel or is it Jesus, God’s Son?” I’ve often been asked this question, and to get the answer we need to let the text of Daniel, itself, give us the clues. Here a pagan king uses his words to describe the fourth man. He appears like “a son of the gods.” Nebuchadnezzar is a polytheist and uses the language he knows to describe what he sees. This fourth man is definitely a supernatural person.
At this point we know that God is controlling history, that he does set rulers up and puts them down, that he will set up his reign at the end of history, and that he will definitely get involved when his children’s lives are threatened. The fourth man in the furnace is a supernatural person, strong enough to stop the deadly power of an 1800-degree furnace.
And we don’t need to wait for any more clues to know that as my friend battles pancreatic cancer, Jesus is definitely present. He promises, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
LORD, thanks that my precious friend is not alone in the midst of this intense fiery trial. And thanks that you not only promise to bring your kingdom to earth in the end, you promise that even death is only to be absent from the body and present with you. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego got it right. You will deliver.
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