Read Daniel 3:19-27. What happens? Who is the other person in the fire?
Having thrown the faithful Hebrews into the fire, Nebuchadnezzar is puzzled to perceive the presence of a fourth person inside the furnace. To the best of his knowledge, the king identifies the fourth figure as “the Son of God” (Dan. 3:25).
The king cannot say much more, but we do know who that fourth person is. He appears to Abraham before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, wrestles with Jacob beside the brook Jabbok, and reveals Himself to Moses in a burning bush. He is Jesus Christ in a pre-incarnate form, coming to show that God stands with His people in their troubles.
Ellen G. White says, “But the Lord did not forget His own. As His witnesses were cast into the furnace, the Saviour revealed Himself to them in person, and together they walked in the midst of the fire. In the presence of the Lord of heat and cold, the flames lost their power to consume”. — Prophets and Kings, pp. 508, 509.
As God says in Isaiah, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isa. 43:2, NKJV).
Though we love stories like these, they do raise the question about others who are not miraculously delivered from persecution for their faith. Those men surely know the experience of Isaiah and Zechariah, who are put to death by impious kings. All through sacred history, even to our day, faithful Christians have endured terrible suffering that ended for them, at least here, not in a miraculous deliverance but in a painful death. Here is one case in which the faithful receive a miraculous deliverance but, as we know, such things don’t usually happen.
|On the other hand, what is the miraculous deliverance that all of God’s faithful people will have, regardless of their fate here? (See 1 Cor. 15:12-26).|