Not Even the Smell of Fire
Wiring shorted out and flames quickly started to leap in the old attic of my friend’s parents’ home. The fire department got there quickly and hit that attic with all the water pressure their trucks could generate. They did save the house, but two days later when I was helping my friend begin to store all the house’s contents in a rented pod, what got me was the smell.
If you’ve ever experience the power of fire firsthand, you’re already smelling that stench in your nostrils. That’s what makes one of the details in the fiery furnace account in Daniel 3 so fascinating. We’ve heard King Nebuchadnezzar give the order to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the flames. Now listen has he is forced to reverse himself and command them to come out.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar approached the door of the blazing furnace, he responded to the fact that he saw them walking alive in the flames and said, ’Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!’ Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the midst of the fire, and the satraps, prefects, governors, and royal advisors gathered around them. They saw that the fire did not have power over their bodies, not a hair of their head was singed, and their clothes were not damaged. There wasn’t even the smell of fire on them.” Daniel 3:26-27
When God delivers his children from the fire, this Old Testament narrative reveals that he does a thorough job. Later on in the New Testament in his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul speaks about what those who gather around us should smell in our lives. There should be the fragrant aroma of the forgiveness we are exercising toward one another, and unbelievers should catch a whiff of accurate knowledge of the biblical Christ when they are around us (2 Corinthians 2:14).
LORD, thanks that one day the stench of death will be gone forever and the aroma of life will become the perfume that permeates your New Heaven and New Earth. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for the sweet smell of eternal life you give us as a gift.
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