Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”Daniel 3:16-18
Have you ever stood up for something you believe in? Were there real consequences for you taking a stance?
In Daniel 3, we read of three friends who were commanded to bow down and worship the King of Babylon, and they refused. Why did they go against the grain and risk their lives?
It goes back to their identity. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were followers of God alone, and anything else that warranted their worship other than God was problematic. The simple request by the king to bend their knee to worship implied that they recognized him as a god.
The three friends knew standing up for God could be costly, and it was. King Nebuchadnezzar sent them to burn alive for their refusal to worship him. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had confidence in their God, and in life or death, they would follow him alone.
Ultimately, the three were cast into a blazing fire, but they were protected and saved by God. When the king sees them unscathed in the middle of the flames, he says:
Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.Daniel 3:28
I doubt our circumstances this week will look like these three guys; however, there are opportunities we can choose to take a stand for God and what he stands for. Standing up may be challenging or costly in an earthly sense, but being a living testimony of our God is better.
We can stand firm today amidst even the hardest situations because we know that God’s Son, Jesus, was obedient to the point of death on the cross, and he was not saved from the flames of this world. Yet, he resurrected and provided hope and life to those who follow him.
questions to consider
- What is something you can stand for this week that glorifies God?
- How would you feel if you stood for God and it cost you something valuable (social status, friends, job, etc.) Would it be worth it?
- Do you believe that God can use our faithfulness to be a living testimony to others?