Who is that Fourth man?
MERRY FRIDAY -PARRIS BAILEY
In search of the Daniel Generation Part Two.
“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, 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.” Dan 3:24,25
Once again what a passage in the Bible! I would say it easily makes the top 20 list in drama and emotion. It also has so much meaning.
I just left a Women’s Night Out dinner at our church. As I looked across the room I could see so many of my “peeps” that have met the “fourth man”. That’s the fun part of pastoring over 30 years. They bring more encouragement to me than I could ever bring to them. But lets get back to our hero’s in the book of Daniel. Let’s just state the facts first:
They were taken from their homeland. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego seemed pretty young. Where were their parents? Probably left behind or taken in captivity. That experience alone could leave the most of us devastated the rest of our lives. What a contrast between living in the promised land to Babylon. I am so proud they choose to eat their vegetables over Popeyes, Crispy Creme and Oyster Po-boys.
These boys knew one way or another that they would be free from the king’s rule. “Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O King. But if not, let it be known to you, O King, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship that image.” They were saying, Just like I didn’t eat your junk food, I’m not going to bend to your world system. We could argue that God didn’t do such a good job delivering them before but somehow they “caught” on that God was in control of their destiny.
They fell down bound into the fire. Many of us are faced with the “unexpected”. I like to call it a “Katrina experience”. We find ourselves falling bound into the fire. Bound with fear, anger, and doubt. That’s the beauty of fire, it burns up everything that is binding us up. The great potter’s wheel of life does its work in us and we become changed through the fire, Christ comes to our point of need.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) He becomes the fourth man all through our lives. Ya know we all need to just come to a place in our lives that even though we might live in Babylon, we will refuse to eat “their food and worship their gods”. Maybe we will fall down, bound in the fire, at times, but have no fear- Christ loves to come walk among us. It’s called being a part of Daniel Generation.