Faith’s Furnace

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

…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.”

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.”
(Daniel 3: 16-18, 24-25)

Even if the fire should scorch
The flames should singe till sight is lost
And flesh burn off like candle wax —

Even if dreams deferred
Rot the heart and sicken hope
To shriveled bones like raisins in the blaze of day —

Even then I will not bow to gilt or gold
To fortune’s prince or hell’s hot blast
For a Love stronger than death.

Whether I stand alone, afraid,
Or whether there is a hand to hold,
And though you see a Help I can’t
— A fourth Man in the fire, you say? —
I will not give my heart away
To any but One who holds it in His sway
Who knows my suffering, sees my way
Though Him I cannot see.

Yet faith gives sight where sight is lost
And need gives rise to prayers of trust;
In this fire though it take my life
My death is life in Him.

O God who loves the broken heart,
Crown me with compassion’s dew
And on my brow place there your hand,
Oh breathe, oh breathe your Love to me.

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