“Now if you are ready, when you hear the sound of … all kinds of music,
to fall down and worship the image which I have made, very good.
But if you do not worship, you shall be thrown at once into the midst of a
furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can rescue you
out of my hands?” Daniel 3:15 Amplified Bible
In a society that supposedly decries ‘bullying’ … there sure is a lot of it going on against Christians today. In an atmosphere of supposed ‘tolerance’ it all seems to be going in only one direction.
Many with ‘Coexist’ bumper stickers take it seriously except to those who follow the cross of Jesus.
I’ve commented before on pressure being put on followers of Jesus and reminded us that the insults, mocking and anger directed against us at times is to be expected. Jesus flatly stated that … “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.” John 15, 18,19 NLT
Satan would always rather we join him than oppose him and that’s precisely what’s happing in the storyline above.
The chief ‘Bully-of-Babylon’ King Nebuchadnezzar erected a ninety foot statue of himself and in a narcissistic display almost beyond comprehension insists that everyone bow before it and worship him!
Included in the ‘everyone’ are three young Hebrews brought from the captivity of Jerusalem to serve Nebuchadnezzar. However, their consciences would not allow them to worship this king because their hearts were already given over to another King. So they refused to bow.
When told of their insubordination the king explains the consequences of continued refusal: either bow or be thrown into a fiery furnace. He doesn’t wait for their response because any response but caving in would be ludicrous and deadly. He assumes they’re ready to come around.
“Now if you are ready …” he says. To which they reply, “You can burn us but you can’t turn us!” The story becomes very dark when the king in anger has them thrown into the furnace, but God’s rescue becomes a miracle that changes the nation.
Today there’s pressure to fold, keep quiet about our faith, look for someplace to hide. Safety looks good in the face of the put-down. But there is a grace and strength for hard times and God’s promise has always been … “everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven …” Matthew 10:32 ESV
Let your light shine!