In today’s reading we find that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego were indeed saved, and much more than just saved:
“Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.’ Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.” (a portion of the Old Testament reading for today, Daniel 3:26-27)
How many times have you been in a room where only one person was smoking a cigarette, and yet when you emerged you found your hair and your clothing smelled like smoke? These three men were thrown into this fiercely hot furnace with all their clothes on (“bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments”, v.21, probably to ensure they would catch fire immediately) and yet they emerged untouched, without even the SMELL of smoke anywhere!
This is an amazing thing: God rescued them from the fire, not by transporting them out of it but by joining them in it!
“Look!” he [Nebuchadnezzar] 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.”
The point of this historical event is not so much that they were saved (which is glorious!), but much more so that Jesus was with them in the trial. Faithful men and women throughout the ages have gone through trials, and many have not been saved from death (including ten of the original 11 apostles). But Jesus Christ was with every single one of them whether He appeared visibly or not.
That, my friends, is what gives the courage to walk through every trial … even physical danger and opposition: the knowledge that our Saviour will never let us go through it alone. “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5b). We can therefore say with confidence, “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us and He will deliver us; but even if He does not, we will not forsake Him” … and then step into the fire with our Lord.