Come what may…
Daniel 3: 19-27 (NIV)
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”
They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God,come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
In Daniel, three young Hebrews stand up to a despot king and are thrown into a fiery furnace that was so hot, it killed the men who threw them in the fire. Amazing, none of the men are harmed and the king declares that he saw fourth more supernatural being in the fire with them. The king calls the three Hebrews out of the fire, they come out and become legends in history.
Yet what amazes me about this episode is that the three Hebrews were fully prepared to die. I have often wondered to myself, “What could God do with me, through me and for me if was fully prepared to die?”
The outcome of the three Hebrews and the fiery furnace is indeed amazing. Yet we must not forget that the amazing outcome was directly linked to an amazing mentality of commitment and obedience. The story about the fiery furnace is NOT about deliverance or faith. The young were fully prepared to die in that furnace. They had somehow come to a place in life in which nothing could not diminish their commitment to God. Given the fact that the Hebrews were political captives, politics probably was at play as well.
Regardless of the specifics behind their motivation, the Hebrew boys clearly had adopted a “come what may…” attitude about the commitment to their cause and to God. It was probably a “come what may” attitude the pushed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to civil rights greatness. It was probably what pushed actress Lucille Ball to become the first woman to own and operate a television studio. It was probably a “come what may” attitude that inspired Harriet Tubman to carry a gun while leading hundreds of slaves to freedom. It was probably the same attitude that inspired Lewis Adams and Mary Mcleod Bethune to open Negro colleges in the deep south during the height of Jim Crow.
“Come what may” commitment has held many marriages and businesses afloat. It has helped many of us fight through sickness and adversity. Yet a question remains pertinent to all of us. What could we accomplish or overcome if we had an unwavering “come what may” commitment to following God?