Yesterday at church, we read Chapter 3 in the book of Daniel. Our pastor did a great job explaining it. Its an amazing story. Daniel’s friends get thrown in a fiery furnace and come out unharmed. Not one hair of their heads was singed. It was a miracle.
I was fascinated with their attitudes before this miracle took place. The king was furious with Daniel’s friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. In a rage, the king had these guys brought before him. The king asked them if it was true that they did not follow his command and worship the gold image? That must have been a very intense situation. Can you imagine being brought before a high official, knowing that they would determine if you lived or died? That was the situation.
Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. So they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up?
–Daniel 3:13-14 (NKJV)
The response is epic. They informed the king that they owed him no explanation. What? Were they crazy? Did they know what they were saying, and whom they were speaking to?
Yes, they knew they were speaking to the king. They could die for the wrong response.
These guys chose to honor God above the king. They did not owe the king an explanation, because they were doing God’s will. God is higher than any leader on earth. God’s rules are to be honored, above anything on earth.
They said that God “is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace”. Then they boldy said, “He will deliver us from your hand, O king.” These guys told the king that they would not follow his orders, because his orders go against God’s laws.
Then, they said that God may not deliver them from the fiery furnace. Even if God chose not to save them, they said, “we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
–Daniel 3:16-18 (NKJV)*
God did save them from the fiery furnace. They walked out unharmed. They did not know the outcome, when they walked into the fire.
Their faith is remarkable. Their faith is admirable. Their faith is something that I strive towards.
How many things do we face in society that go against God’s laws? There are so many issues that are accepted culturally, yet God does not accept them. When it comes down to our own choice, will we do God’s will or follow society?
My favorite part of these bible verses is when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego said that they owe the king no explanation. They boldly proclaimed their faith for God with this statement. They told the king, that God is higher than the king’s rules. I want this complete and utter faith. I want my children to have this faith, as they go to school and eventually to college. When we follow God’s laws, there is no need for an explanation.
I pray for faith like Daniel and his friends. I pray that I will be courageous and trust in you, even if my life is at stake. I pray that my children will never feel the need to explain themselves, when following your laws, God. I pray that you, God, will fight these battles for us.