Have you ever travelled into the wilderness or forest somewhere, and just stopped and listened to the silence? Or have you climbed to the top of a mountain and as far as your eye could see there was just hills, mountains and trees. Perhaps you were the only person there.
There is something peaceful about being alone in nature, with just the beautiful hues of green to gaze upon. But we have to ask ourselves "Who created all these beautiful things?" and "Does He care about me now?"
We are living in a sad world and often in our life we suffer pain and hardship, but when we are at our lowest, when our pain seems the greatest and we feel like giving up, we must ask the question: "Am I alone"? Is there anyone who can be with me in the hardest times of my life?
To answer this question, lets take a look at an amazing story from the Bible.
In Daniel Chapter 3 we are read about a king called Nebuchadnezzar (pronounced Neh-bu-kad-nez-ze) and three men.
In Daniel 3:1 the Bible says:
Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height [was] threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar the king made this huge statue of gold that was threescore cubits (or 90 feet) high! Then the next few verses say that he sent messages to all his princes, governors, captains, judges etc. of his kingdom, telling them to come for the opening or dedication of this great golden statue.
So all the important men of his kingdom gathered for this great occasion.
Nebuchadnezzar was a proud king, and wanted all his subjects to worship him, so (in verses 5-6) he commanded that on the sound of the music that everyone should bow down and worship him, and acknowledge his power. And he said that if anyone did not fall down and worship then they would be burnt alive in a furnace.
So (in verse 7) the music played and all the people fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. But no! We see in verses 8-12 that there were three men who refused to bow down and worship the king Nebuchadnezzar and his image! And some of the people nearby came to the king and told him that there were three men who refused to bow down and worship the golden image. They said:
Daniel 3:12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Nebuchadnezzar was furious! His pride was touched and he commanded that the men be brought to him.
Daniel 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in [his] rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
Then the king spoke to the three men.
Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, [Is it] true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; [well]: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who [is] that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Nebuchadnezzar didn't want to throw these men into the furnace to be burnt alive, so he gave them another chance. He said that he would play the music once more, and if they would just bow down then that would be ok. But if they didn't then they would be case into the middle of a burning fiery furnace.
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (the three men) answer the king:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we [are] not careful to answer thee in this matter.
If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
What an amazing answer! They said that they weren't careful to answer in this matter, that means that this wasn't a decision that they had to think about, they already were certain that they could not bow down and worship the king and his image because they believed in the true God and they couldn't pay homage to anyone but Him.
These three men were in some real trouble! Was God there to help them? Or had He forgotten about them, so now are they at the mercy of king Nebuchadnezzar?
Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: [therefore] he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
Now Nebuchadnezzar was furious! And in his rage he commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal and the three men were bound (verses 20-23) and thrown into the fiery furnace.
But had God failed them? The story doesn't end there, lets have a look at the next verse or two:
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, [and] spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and leapt off his throne to look into the furnace, because he saw four men walking in the middle of the fire. No, the true and living God had not failed them!
When their trial was the greatest, Jesus was standing there with them and preserved them from being burnt in the furnace.
And God is the same today as he was all those years ago, He will be with you and me just like he was with those three men who stood up for the right. What a loving Saviour we have!
So don't despair whatever is happening to you, perhaps things are getting a bit hot in your life, but remember that when your trials are greatest, Jesus is there with you.
...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
- by Emmanuel Higgins