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 three young Israelite men who were brought over 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 idol and brought all the leaders in Babylon together to worship it and honor him. A threat of being thrown into a fiery furnace was given to all who refused to bow down and worship the image, Daniel 3:6.
After the call to worship someone noticed that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not bowing down before the idol like everyone else. The three young men then were brought directly 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 the verses above. Their faith in God made the king 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 one who appeared as the “son of the gods.” We now know that this was the one and only eternal Son of the true God- 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.
I believe one of the greatest lessons we can learn from their faith is to stand up for God, without compromise, no matter the cost. I love how they said, “even if he [God] does not [deliver us], we want you to know… that we will not serve your gods!” They acted courageously regardless of the consequences or harm they might face- no matter what they weren’t going to worship the idol!
Can you say the same thing to your culture, family, and friends? Can you say by faith in God- I will not bow down to “political correctness,” “atheism,” “the homosexual agenda,” “abortion,” “evolution,” and “Hollywood’s idolatry?” I pray that we all can be encouraged by these humble young men to serve God and God alone regardless of the consequences.
What things in your culture are you boldly not bowing down to and agreeing with?
- Repent if you have the “fear of man” or the “fear of persecution.”
- Ask God to fill you with His boldness to stand for righteousness- no matter the cost.
- Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, by faith, don’t bow down to the idols of this generation but rather worship God alone!