In the plain of Dura, outside the city of Babylon, with a giant golden idol before them, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego prepared themselves. They prepared to burn because they would not bow down before an idol.
With gentleness and respect, these young men explained themselves to an insecure and ruthless king (see Daniel 3:16-18). In their response, we glean three important principles to help us prepare should we find ourselves in a position to take a stand like them.
First, they were confident in God’s ability to save them. This did not mean they presumed that God would save them. Whether or not God delivered them from the fiery furnace had no bearing on whether or not they would bow. Their faith went far beyond the fiery furnace that blazed before them.
Second, they were confident in their identity. They knew who they were—Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah—subjects of the One, True God whose kingdom has no end. This identity shaped their desire to honor the Lord with their lives by purposing in their hearts not to defile themselves with the earthly king’s culture or commandments.
Third, they were confident that the cost of obedience was worth taking a stand. Having survived the attempts of indoctrination while living in the Babylonian kingdom and culture, they prepared themselves for a day when a command could come that would cost them their lives. By counting that cost, they prepared themselves and were then ready to take a stand.
Much like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, when you refuse to bow, you will stand out. Are you prepared? Have you considered the cost of obedience? Are you prepared to reject any rationalization that would cause you to compromise your conviction? Remember that God doesn’t always soften the consequences of our choice when we take a stand. But also remember this—He is with you and He will ultimately deliver you, no matter what!
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends