But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” – Dan. 3:18 NIV
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King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had built a ninety feet golden image and set a day for its dedication inviting all political office holders to the ceremony – Dan. 3:1-4. As part of the dedication process, they were all suppose to bow, not to Nebuchadnezzar but to the idol once they hear music in praise of the idol – Dan. 3:5-11. All present obeyed this instruction except Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Dan. 3:12. Not only did they refuse to bow at that moment but had formed the habit of distancing themselves from the act of self-glorification of King Nebuchadnezzar – Dan. 3:13-14. Like several proud people like him, he did not find this funny and decided to prove his authority by asking that they be tied up and thrown into burning fire – Dan. 3:13-23. The scripture for today’s devotion is part of the response of the three Hebrews when Nebuchadnezzar supposedly gave them their last chance to save themselves from painful death by worshipping him. The earlier part of their response is in verse 17 of the same scripture and both verses highlight the following points;
1. They have faith that the God they serve has the ability to save them.
2. He may however choose not to do so and allow some other Will of His to happen.
3. Whatever is the decision of the Almighty God, they were comfortable with it as they were resolved not to bow to an image or anyone for that matter aside from the Almighty God.
Someone somewhere may be going through a similar experience. Similar because it is not that you committed any offence that is against the Will of God or an act of wickedness or evil against a fellow man but just the case of a human being in position wanting to emphasise his powerful status and the need to be so recognised and worshipped and your refusal to do such bidding due to your preference for doing the Will of the Almighty God. My prayer for such a person is that God will come into that situation soonest and you will give positive testimonies of His greatness in Jesus name. Amen.
However like the case of the three Hebrews, you must be prepared for God’s manner of intervention and not necessarily your own expected manner of intervention. The three Hebrews believed God will save them but then they were not unaware that He may decide not to intervene in that manner.
Christians need to understand that nothing happens to them that escapes the knowledge, awareness and approval of God – Lam. 3:37-40. They equally need to know that everything that happens to them happens for a purpose known to God in order that He (God) may be glorified. The minute the Christian accepts to worship God, all things and that means all things with regards to that individual were surrendered to Him. It means that as a living being he/she has only has desires but such can only be pursued subject to approval from the Lord.
The life of the Christian remains for signs and wonders in the world (Is. 8:18), not according to the desires of the Christian but according to the Will of the Lord. God needed to prove to Nebuchadnezzar that He, the sovereign God was the only one that deserves to be worshipped and so needed volunteers who will help fulfil His wish. The three Hebrews by deciding not to fall for the intimidation and oppression took the side of God in that situation. To the ordinary person, the three Hebrews will be seen as people of faith who had absolute trust in their God which is very true – Dan. 3:28. They were not going to deny their God under any circumstance. To God however, they had helped in proving to an unbeliever and to others like King Nebuchadnezzar that
1. The Almighty God alone must be worshipped and not any human being or idol and
2. Jesus is the only one that can save not only from the fire set by men but even that fire reserved for all those who refuse to accept the Almighty God as the only one to be worshipped.
This is because, not only was the fire unable to harm them because a fourth person that looked like the son of God according to the unbelieving King, came to their rescue but also that Nebuchadnezzar eventually came to knowledge that the Almighty God deserved all the praise (Dan. 3:25) and decreed that all people of all languages must watch what they say about the god of the three Hebrews.
The earthly reward for such displayed faith and trust was the promotion they all got from the King – Dan. 3:30 but their is definitely more reward in the world to come. Jesus Christ said that whoever acknowledges God on earth before men will be acknowledged in heaven and that remains a treasure that will remain eternally – Matt. 10:32.
That God did not allow the fire to burn them does not mean he will approach your own situation in a similar fashion but the presence of his son in the fire as the fourth person indicates that God will never leave those who believe in Him alone. There is no doubt that He is with you in that situation and no matter how hot the situation may be, the only thing you will be left with will be positive testimonies in Jesus name. Amen.
Allow Him to take His desired and deserved glory in that situation and you will give testimony as soon as He gets His glory. May He grant you the strength to overcome that situation so that He can be glorified in Jesus name. Amen.