Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego said in reply to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter, for if so it must be, our God whom we serve is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will save us from your power, O king. But even if he does not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your god, or worship the statue of gold that you have set up.’
The story of these three young men is the stuff of Vacation Bible Schools and Sunday Schools the world over. It truly is an amazing story. In fact the first part of Daniel is full of those stories that we learn as children, stories of faithful people whom God protects from the enemy. The good over the bad, the little ones over the powerful, the exiled over the invaders.
Today what caught my attention was that these men were willing to die. We normally focus on their belief that God would save them, and they certainly believed that . . . but did you, like me, missed the latter part. Even if God does not save them, even if they knew that God would not, they would still not bow down before the image.
So many times we easily compromise our Christian conviction. When the going gets tough, when we begin to be critizized, called names, called into question, we give in, we bow down. At other times we expect God to save us for doing what is right, expect reward, a divine “pat on the back.”
Today’s scripture reminded me to continue encouraging God’s people to do what is right. To care for the neediest among them, to work for justice, to love beyond compare. When we do this the world takes notice and we might even make an enemy or two. Let us not bow down, let us continue to trust in the one who called us to only worship the one true God.