“Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Daniel 3:15
Wow! Is anybody else noticing a pattern here? “Who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Now where have we heard that before? Hmmmm… Oh Yeah! Just two days ago from the mouth of the king of Assyria, Sennacherib! It’s almost as if it’s not the kings saying it, but perhaps someone behind them. Someone… sinister and evil, and hell-bent on driving God’s people to extinction… someone devilish like, oh I don’t know, Satan perhaps?
You see, Satan is doing his utmost best to destroy us. But what Satan intends for our destruction, God intends for our GOOD. In today’s reading we find the beloved story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Three men of God, friends of Daniel’s, who refused to bow to the pressure of the king.
Yesterday we talked about the pressure that Daniel had to withstand in order to “just say no” to the king’s food and now today we find his friends (who also resisted the king’s food) in an even bigger pickle than before. Before it was just the food that they were eating, that was a big test at the time. But this, this was WAAAAY bigger than food. This was bowing to an enormous idol. And not doing so would result in death by fire! I mean, what food to eat, that’s one thing. But worshiping another god, that’s just unthinkable!
Or is it?
We tend to do it every day without ever giving it another thought. In Who Do You Trust I talked about some of the idols that we worship (money, doctors, medicine a hospital); the things or people that we place our trust in to save us from our difficult situations.
Let’s take Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego for instance. They could have bent under the peer pressure and done what EVERY OTHER Hebrew there was doing to save their own skin and they could have bowed and worshiped the golden idol. But they didn’t do that.
They were friends with Daniel, who at this point had risen pretty high in the ranks among the king’s officials. They could have played their friend card with Daniel and tried to use his influence to get out of this situation. But they didn’t do that either.
Under the greatest of pressure they didn’t cave and they didn’t compromise, they trusted in God. Period. They stood firm in their faith. Which was no easy task, I might add!