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February 16, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews.”—Daniel 3:8 (ESV)
As a refresher, the setting is the Plain of Dura in ancient Babylon. Looming above the landscape is a golden statue glistening in the sun whose height was nearly 100 feet tall. It represents King Nebuchadnezzar who commands everyone gathered to bow down and worship it. Anyone refusing to do so will be burned alive. It’s an intense scene!
At this very moment “certain Chaldeans” come forward and start accusing “the Jews” who were present. Now, let’s get some perspective. These Chaldeans were the Babylonian spiritual advisors to Nebuchadnezzar. They were the ones who couldn’t come through in the previous chapter in revealing and interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. But Daniel did, and the “Jews” here refers to Daniel’s three Jewish counterparts and friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (for reasons unknown Daniel is absent in this chapter).
Understand the Chaldeans were holding a grudge against the Jews for exposing their spiritual inability. Now they knew the Jews were so devoted to their God that they wouldn’t bow to another, including Nebuchadnezzar’s image. So they use this occasion to get rid of them. If they just draw attention to the Jew’s convictions they would be executed and out of the way, which is exactly what they do: “O king . . . There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:9-12 ESV).
The stage has been set for one of the most dramatic expressions of faith in the Bible. But before getting to that, let’s stop here and take notice of an important spiritual reality revealed to us. Because the Jews were true followers of the True and Living God, they had a strong set of convictions . . . convictions that got them noticed and on their enemy’s radar!
In the same way, every follower of Jesus is going to have convictions that will define their lives. What they believe will play out in how they behave. This isn’t going to go unnoticed! It’s going to get the attention of others, including the adversary (Satan) who’s committed to opposing all that God desires to do in and through our lives.
Our convictions as Christians are going to get us on Satan’s radar. We need to be aware and okay with this, because as we’ll see it can become the backdrop by which God is greatly glorified through our lives.
DIG: What was the Chaldean’s strategy against the Jews?
DISCOVER: What effect can we expect our convictions to produce?
DO: What should our attitude be towards this effect? Examine your convictions and your attitude towards them today. Do they line up with Scripture?