Trial By Fire

                            36 x 48
Gouache, chalk, pencil, and ink on canvas
Black Bible Illustrations

Into The Inferno

Mishael, Hananiah, and Azariah have just given King Nebuchadnezzar their ultimatum regarding the worship of his idolatrous image. Whatever favorable standing they had with him has now dissipated in the heat of his extreme fury. He doesn't even look at them the same anymore..." 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.

And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the
burning fiery furnace." Daniel 3:19-23

judgment_7x.jpg

      Perfect love casts out fear.

No Turning Back

Here, we see the king signaling the furnace tenders

to increase the heat by seven times. This means he wanted the temperature of the furnace burning at somewhere between 5000-6000 degrees. The heat was so overwhelming it killed the soldiers taking the youths to their death.

Making It Personal

Two scriptures come to mind as we apply the events of this scene to our lives today. One is found in the New Testament in 1 Peter 4:12-13...Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy. The other is found in the Old Testament in Isaiah 43:2...when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

Can God be trusted? Will he act on His word?

We are about to see what happened to three young men who put their faith and confidence in a God they had never seen, but loved and reverenced in a covenant relationship. They are about to meet the Fourth Man in the Fire.