“God...has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and...were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego knew that their first allegiance was to God and they should worship only him. Nebuchadnezzar did not recognize any authority above his own; he wanted to be the object of worship. He had commissioned a great statue and ordered that everyone must bow and worship his image or face execution by fire in a furnace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were willing to face the anger of the king and even die rather than deny their heavenly Father, in whose image they were made. They faced adversity with courage and modeled for the king what it looked like to honor the convictions of their faith. Their testimony is compelling. In effect, they said, “We believe God is able to save us, but even if he does not do that in this life, we will not worship anyone but him.”
This statement enraged the king so much that he raised the temperature to the point that even the soldiers in charge of these men were killed by the heat. But God protected his servants from the fire and allowed them to leave the furnace unscathed. After the dramatic rescue of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the king had a change of heart and praised God. Their faith mentored the king himself.
Do you have the courage to stand up for your convictions in the face of adversity?
Father, give us the courage to be faithful in adversity. May we reflect your image even in hard times. In Christ, Amen.
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