One Way or the Other
Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what godwill be able to rescue you from my hand?”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. 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.”
These three Jewish young men had been taken prisoner, hauled off to Babylon, and trained in the court of the king to become Babylonian in culture in order to help domesticate the other Jewish captives. But when it came to the core value of who they worshipped, these young believers were not to be swayed.
One of the things that stands out the most about their commitment is that they decide to trust God whether they are delivered or not. As we’ve been thinking about healing this week, we’ve acknowledged that sometimes God heals and sometimes God does not heal. And there’s something very endearing about these Jewish young men in the story today because they seem to grasp this reality - sometimes God rescues and sometimes God does not. And yet God is still worth trusting with our very lives.
Take some time today and read back over the story, putting yourself in their places. And pray through what it might mean in an important area of your life for you to say you trust God one way or the other.