Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

Friendship – Day 18

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – the fourth friend

Bible text(s)

24Suddenly Nebuchadnezzar leapt to his feet in amazement. He asked his officials, “Didn't we tie up three men and throw them into the blazing furnace?”

They answered, “Yes, we did, Your Majesty.”

25“Then why do I see four men walking about in the fire?” he asked. “They are not tied up, and they show no sign of being hurt — and the fourth one looks like an angel.”

Daniel 3:24-25GNBOpen in Bible reader

Nebuchadnezzar saw a fourth person in the furnace; we are reminded that God has been the friends’ companion through this whole event. God saves them from the furnace. However, there is more. The three men share not only the bonds of friendship, but also the commitment of covenant. They are people of God, living in deep and trusting relationships with God and one another. Their commitment to faithfulness and to friendship provides them with the strength to withstand enormous pressures to conform, not to just go along.

Many of us are privileged to have Christian friends to turn to when we need support, advice and encouragement. Even if we are not so fortunate, or perhaps our friends live far away, we have the best friend of all – Jesus Christ. We can pray to him anytime we like, 24/7, and we can get to know him better through the Bible. There are others, however, who do not even have this privilege. There are thousands of men and women in South Africa’s prisons who feel they are trapped in fiery furnaces, with nowhere to turn. The Bible Society has a project, Bibles for Prisoners, which makes Bible available free of charge to people who often have no other way of obtaining a Bible. Today, perhaps you might consider making a gesture of friendship and donating to this project. Your support can help someone to receive the word of God and, through that, find a friend in the fire.

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