Trusting. Yielded. Stubborn.

Daniel 3: 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Trusting. Yielded.  Stubborn.  That’s not my description of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  It is the description of a heathen king.  Nebuchadnezzar ruled the known world at that time. The Babylonian empire spread far and wide.  History speaks of the king.  It was from here, the Ur of the Chaldees, that God called Abraham.  That’s what God does for all of us.  We used to be part of the world, but by faith we’re part of the Kingdom of God.  We walk as witnesses and lights with a purpose.

Israel was in captivity in Babylon because of sin and idolatry.  God gave them what they wanted and put them in the midst of heathen gods.  The nation of Israel was pulled down.  Many were taken prisoner.  Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were among the ones taken with the backsliders.  Many enjoyed the customs of Babylon.  They enjoyed the new culture and integrated just fine.  Nebuchadnezzar was tickled about it all until he came across these men of Israel.  Even being renamed they wanted to retain their Hebrew names.

The world is giving Christians all sorts of names because we’re in the midst of a Babylon.  The men yielded only to the service of God.  That made them stubborn enough to stand against the king.  These men taught us that even though away from the Holy Land and captive in a strange country, they didn’t have to compromise.  They stayed true to the Lord and weren’t afraid to let others know.  They would not conform to the court of Babylon.  They yielded only to the service of God.  The world has open arms for all counterfeit religions but it rejects the truth.  You’ll find opportunity every way you turn if you stay true to God.

Nebuchadnezzar decided there needed to be a new god in town.  He set it up and decided to gather people for worship.  Every time I hear breaking news on television it’s never good for the Christian.  Nebuchadnezzar said this is how it will go.  When you hear the music, fall down and worship.  Today something new comes up for us to follow or else.  Christians in other nations are losing their lives right now.  I’m glad that no matter how rough others have it that there are Christians in China and Viet Nam.  Not everyone is an atheist or a Hindu or Buddhist.  God prevails in every nation.

Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone to come to the plain of Dura.  When the music sounded the people were to bow down and worship or be cast in a fiery furnace.  We’re not offered options but ultimatums by the world.  I’m tired of the intimidation of those who don’t believe in God.  When the music sounded everyone hit the ground but Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  They didn’t carry a sign or pull out a gun and kill others.  They just kept standing because they had already yielded to and trusted the true and living God.  He will take care of us in the midst of our Babylon.  We don’t need trends and fashions.  We just need Jesus.  These men didn’t do what King Nebuchadnezzar said because they did what the King of Kings said.  Others will be mad or glad because of your testimony.  Just be faithful.

The king wanted to give the men another chance when he found out they didn’t bow.  He assured them everything would be all right.  That’s what they tell us.  Do it.  You can keep your faith, like our faith is a little nothing.  Man is stumbling in his own foolish arrogance and pride.  I’ve got more than faith.  I’ve got a real God.  Jesus is a reality.  One day this world will see who is really on the throne.  Nebuchadnezzar had his day, but he’s gone.  These men told the king O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.  They weren’t disrespectful or hateful.  It was a given.  They didn’t have to talk about it.  They had already done it by remaining standing.  Whether God delivered them from the fire or not, they were not bowing down.

They were “wouldn’t” Christians.  They wouldn’t bend.  They didn’t listen.  It wasn’t all right.  It was sin.  They wouldn’t bow to the gods of this world.  They wouldn’t compromise.  The young men already had a God and he was real.  They wouldn’t break.  Verse 19 says then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.  The king was mad.  He went from rage to fury.  Even though the furnace was heated up the three Hebrews wouldn’t break.  They didn’t care how hot the furnace or the king was.  There were not intimidated or afraid.  God was with them.  They were determined to serve God.  Because of all that they wouldn’t burn. The devil wanted them and their clothes to ignite but nothing caught fire.  The king expected them to give in but they were walking around in the fire.  A fourth man was in there with them.  When he saw that he said the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

The king made a new rule.  There is hope for America if we as the children of God will stand.  We may cause a decree that we’d really be one nation under God again.  The king reversed his first decree.  Verses 28-29 state then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Let’s be trusted and yielded and see what God can do.

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