Daniel 3:16 — Three Brave Fire-men
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.
Daniel tells us of three friends. These friends were placed in a seeming ‘no-win’ situation. If they broke the law, they would lose their lives. If they broke God’s law, they violated God’s love for them. The three friends were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, better known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. You may learn one simple truth from these three brave men. You cannot compromise what is right and please God. You must have the faith that when you do what is right, God will reward your faith.
Why were the men reluctant to answer? Nebuchadnezzar asked, ‘Who is the God that will deliver you out of my hands.?’ He was essentially saying, ‘How do you expect your God to rescue you if you disobey me?’ The men basically said, ‘The charges are true. We do not need to give a defense to false accusations. We do not know how God will deliver us, but God is able to deliver us.’ In other words, the three men were pleading guilty.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could easily have bowed to the idol along with the rest of the nation’s leaders. They could have said, ‘We will bow, but our hearts will not worship the idol.’ Such a pragmatic approach would surely have spared them the stress of facing the death penalty and a horrific death.
Too often, Christians take such a pragmatic approach to life. They say, ‘I will do what I need to do, and God will understand/forgive me.’ They allow a permissiveness into their life that excuses sin. They ignore the little things until the little things become big things.
The three Hebrew men could have said that bowing was a little thing. Why could they not bow to the idol? If the men had simply bowed in obedience to the king’s command, they would have been active participants in the king’s rebellion. They would have been condoning the very revolt against God Nebuchadnezzar was advocating. The act of bowing would have been completely contradictory to their beliefs about God and His holiness. They could not bow, no matter how insignificant the action may seem to us today.
What are your thoughts on this verse?
Have you ever yielded to the temptation to go with the flow instead rather than take a stand for Christ?
How pragmatic have you been regarding your Christianity?
How can you have the courage you need to obey God even in the face of immense pressure?