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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study

Week #5
Posted May 18, 2009

Daniel 3:23

We are studying the Book of Daniel. I find that Daniel and the three Hebrew boys have a Big God. I have been musing on the fact that He is the ‘God Of Refinement’. We have looked at two subjects thus far, ‘The Trial Of Your Faith’, and ‘The Testimony Of His Followers’. Let us look today at verse 23, which says, “And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.”

            I find in verse 23a ‘The Test Of Our Position’. The Bible said that they ‘fell down’. This is a position of humility. It is not a position that is easily attained. It will take us off our high horse and bring us low. If I think I am a humble person there is a good chance that I am not one. True humility is a rare exotic plant seldom found on earth. Let us be careful of false humility. The refiner’s fire burns away pride. Pride is never more ugly than when pretending to be humble. May there be less of me and more of Him. May I decrease while He increases. Peter said for us ‘to be clothed with humility for God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble.’ The fires of trouble will bring us down low.

            I find also in our text there is ‘The Test Of Our Practice’. How often in a time of trouble we will find ourselves to be tight with no freedom in the midst of our trouble. It seems like the Heavens are brass. The Bible is a dead book and God is silent. Let me assure us God never intended the refiner’s fire to cause this to be our practice. The text tells us in verse 23b they “…fell down bound into the midst…” The word ‘bound’ means that which retrains or impedes forward progress. Oh, how trials can bind us up in our relationship to the God of refinement. Let me assure us that God never meant this to be our practice. There is only one thing affected or lost in the fire by the three Hebrew boys. In 3:24 the King asks, “Did not we cast three men bound into the…fire?” “They answered…True, O king.” The king said ‘I see four men loose, walking in the …fire, and the fourth is like the Son of God.” In the fire they were set free and walking n fellowship with the Son of God. Look for Him in the fire. He will not bind us but set us free.

            I see in verse 23c there is ‘The Test That Is Pointed’. We find the three boys ‘in the midst’ of the fire. This phrase indicates the center of the fire. For the most part when we are in the fire we want out. These boys are moving to the hottest point, which is the center. Let us remember our Lord is not interested in getting us out of the fire but taking care of us in the fire. In the midst of the fire they found Him. They were down low, below the smoke and saw the Son of God because the view was 20/20.

            In the early 100’s there was a big God preacher by the name of Polycarp who was a convert of John the Beloved. He was sentenced to die for preaching the gospel. He was asked before the execution to deny Christ. He said, ‘These 86 years that I have known Him He has never done me wrong.’ He asked not to be nailed to the stake to be burned. He promised not to move. When the fire was set it refused to come near Polycarp. In disgust the soldiers ran a sword through his heart and the blood put out the fire.

            When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, my grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply. The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine. That soul tho all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, no never, forsake.

            I am glad I have a big God. He is the God of Refinement who is in charge of the furnace where we are made into His likeness