Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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. 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.” Daniel 3:16-18
It takes a lot of nerve to stand up to a King and say No! But these three Hebrew boys had plenty of nerve. It came from Faith; faith in a mighty God and a desire to be obedient to him. Well I got some good news. This same God is alive and well and we can still find our strength in Him.
These men found themselves in a foreign land, ruled by a ruthless king who held all the power. With just his word you could be put to death. This same king decreed a law that had everyone bowing to a large statue. Seemed like an easy thing to do to stay alive. All you have to do is bow. But these young men were not about to compromise their beliefs in order to stay alive. They remained obedient to God’s word. Would the king have his way and send these young men to a horrific death!
Often we too are tested. Pressure from co-workers, family, friends and even our spouses can be relentless. We know better but it would be so much easier to just give in and get along. Why not be just like everyone else, even at the cost of disobeying God’s word. It’s hard to stick it out and be different. It’s hard to be the only one going to church, praying, believing in God and obeying His word. It can often lead to rejection, isolation, insults or even persecution. But when we can stay faithful we will receive a greater reward. For Christ is ever present in our lives. He fills us with a peace, a love, and a joy we cannot find in the world. We also cannot forget that Jesus promises us a great reward in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12) for staying faithful in the face of persecution. Jesus also advises us to lay up our treasures in heaven “where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19-20)
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego understood that a greater reward could be found in staying faithful to God, than in compromising their beliefs, even at the risk of losing their lives. The King was not impressed and was true to his word. Into the fiery furnace they went. Then the shocker, the three young men and one other were in the furnace and no harm had befallen them. When we are faithful to God, He is faithful to us.
When you feel like you’re in a foreign land and everyone is urging you to compromise, remember great will be your reward for remaining faithful until the end. This reward is no less than a life that never ends; a life with Christ.
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