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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them . . .”—Daniel 3:27 (NLT)
It’s one of my favorite Bible stories ever. King Nebuchadnezzar creates a giant statue of himself out of gold and commands every subject of the Babylonian Empire to bow before it. And everyone around did . . . except for three young Jewish men named Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego.
And so, as a result of their refusal to bow down, they were thrown into a furnace that was so hot, it incinerated the men who threw them in. But guess what? Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego didn’t die! They didn’t burn, not even a single thread from their clothes was singed. The Lord protected them.
Now, why did they refuse to bow? Because they served God Almighty, the God who delivered the people of Israel from Pharaoh’s hand in Egypt. And they made this clear, saying, “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” (Daniel 3:17–18 NLT). And deliver them He did!
I love this story for so many reasons. It shows us so much about honoring God, trusting in Him, and most of all, about His faithfulness. Here, we see three followers of God being punished for doing what is right, for not compromising, for honoring God, and for living righteously. This is a lesson for all of us. It’s something we may all encounter at some point or another as Christ-followers. We may experience persecution and punishment—physical, verbal, etc.—for honoring Him.
We also see the kind of attitude we need to have in the face of this sort of persecution: an uncompromising devotion and faithfulness to God. These men said they would never bow down to any god but Jehovah, and that they knew He could deliver them from His hand. But even if He chose not to, they’d have no regrets about being faithful because they knew where their true reward was! And we see how God honors the faithfulness of His people, delivering these young men from the king’s hand.
Most importantly, though, we see the results of this in the lives of the people who witnessed it! The king worshiped God and lifted up His name. God can use your faithfulness to do the same! He can use you to bring kings to their knees in surrender. We just need to show the same kind of devotion as Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego!
DIG: Read Daniel 3.
DISCOVER: Have you ever experienced persecution for doing what is right in God’s eyes? Have you ever compromised on what is right in God’s eyes to avoid the wrath of man?
DISPLAY: Commit to the faithfulness and uncompromising devotion of Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego. Pray for the Lord to give you the strength to face persecution with your head high and your eyes on Christ. Pray that He will sustain you and deliver you through any persecution you may face
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.