Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire.
You’re probably familiar with the Old Testament story of King Nebuchadnezzar, the great and powerful king of Babylon. As the story goes, the king made a giant gold statue for his people to worship. When he ordered them to bow down, all complied except three Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. As punishment, Nebuchadnezzar ordered their fiery death and had them thrown into a furnace.
It’s easy to gloss over the significance of these accounts because they happened so long ago, but put yourself in the shoes of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were real people just like you and me. As Daniel 3:4-6 illustrates, they knew for sure that if they denied the King’s command, they would be burned alive. I can’t think of a more horrible death, yet these three Jews were so resolute in their faith in God, that they refused to serve any other. And of course, God rewarded their faith by protecting them in the fire.
But you might be thinking, “Why not just bow to the idol and save yourself?” At the very least this story demonstrates the three men’s commitment to their principles. But it also shows their unwavering faith in something greater than themselves.
Need another example? Before being cast into the furnace, King Nebuchadnezzar gave Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego one last chance to bow down and worship the king’s gold statue. They replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Reread this powerful statement of faith: “even if he doesn’t.” These men trusted God to deliver them from the fire, but they were determined to be faithful no matter what happened because of the eternal reward that they knew was waiting for them in Heaven.
Christians must strive for this kind of faith. If God saved us every time we needed to be rescued, we wouldn’t need faith at all. We must be steadfast in our faith and remember that we serve a God whose promise is eternal life. And when we choose to be faithful, we glorify God in the process.
How are you choosing to be faithful to God, not just in the big things but the ordinary everyday things as well?
Today’s author: Mark Henderson—husband, father, and founder of The Inspired Legacy.