Daniel 3:17-18, “17 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. 18 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.”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were Israelite men who were forced to live in Babylon after the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem. Their original Jewish names were- Hananiah, Misha’el and Azariah; however, their captors gave them their well-known names from the Chaldean language.
These three young men were peers to Daniel and together were trained in the courts of King Nebuchadnezzar to be leaders in his kingdom (Daniel 1:3-7). Their famous story takes place when King Nebuchadnezzar built a 90-foot tall idol and brought all the leaders in Babylon together to honor him by worshipping it. Whoever refused to worship the idol was to be thrown into a fiery furnace (Daniel 3:6).
Once the call to worship was given, people noticed that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not bowing down before the idol like everyone else. The three young men then were brought before the king and told if they didn’t bow down they’d be thrown into the fire. They boldly refused and responded with the words found in today’s passage. Their faith in God made King Nebuchadnezzar so furious that he had the furnace heated up seven times hotter and then threw them into the fire.
While the young men were in the furnace the king saw it was not burning them but instead there appeared in the fire a fourth man, whom the king said looked like the “son of the gods” (Daniel 3:25). We now know that this was Jesus! As a result, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were taken out of the furnace and were honored by the king because of their great faith and dependence upon God.
One of the greatest lessons we can learn from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s faith is to stand up for God, without compromise, no matter the cost.
I love how they said in today’s passage that even if God wouldn’t deliver them, they still wanted King Nebuchadnezzar to know they were not going to bow down to his idol. They acted courageously regardless of the consequences. Can you say the same thing to your culture, family and friends?
By faith in God, can you say; “I will not bow down to political correctness, atheistic philosophy, the homosexual agenda, abortion, evolution, corporate corruption, racism, false religion and Hollywood’s perversion?” I pray that we all can be encouraged by these humble young men to serve God alone, regardless of the consequences.
What cultural idols do people want you to bow down to?
- Repent if you’ve had the fear of man or the fear of persecution. A wise man once said, “God may allow you to face the furnace of affliction, but He’ll never let you face it alone, He’ll be with you!”
- Ask God to fill you with His boldness to stand for righteousness- no matter the cost.
- By faith, don’t bow down to the idols of this generation!
One Year Reading Plan
Ezekiel 35:1-36:38, James 1:1-18, Psalm 116:1-19, & Proverbs 27:23-27. Click here to read online.