Today you should read: Daniel 3
There are so many good lessons to learn from this popular story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. The passage will speak for itself, but I’ll simply outline and summarize the story.
Bow Down or Be Obedient (vs. 1-18)
God had been using Nebuchadnezzar (Neb) to bring judgment upon the Jews, though Neb didn’t know. Neb just knew things were going well and he was feeling pretty good about himself. So, he had a large golden image made for people to bow down to and worship. Those who didn’t bow down to the golden image were to be thrown into a fiery furnace to be burned up.
Can you imagine being faced with the choice of bowing down to a huge golden figure or be thrown into a fiery death chamber? I simply cannot relate to such extreme circumstances. I’ve never faced a “bow down to an idol or die in a fire pit” scenario. To guys like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, the issue was not really “bow down or die” but instead “bow down or be obedient.” So, they chose to face certain death (unless the Lord rescued them) rather than bow down to a false idol.
I can relate to the facing the choice of bowing down to idols or be obedient. We all can. Every day we have the option of bowing down to various idols or being obedient. We all know what some of these idols are, don’t we? What’s your normal response to “bow down or be obedient?”
Consequences of Obedience/Not Bowing Down (vs. 19-23)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego refused to bow to the idol. They were willing to face the consequences of disobedience to the king and obedience to the Lord. So, Neb had them bound together and thrown into a fiery furnace, which was so hot that it killed some of the men who were throwing them in the furnace.
These three guys obeyed the Lord and were willing to face the consequences. Our obedience and choosing not to bow down to idols could possibly result in us facing extreme consequences. For example, you might not get thrown into a fiery furnace, but you might face something like getting thrown out of your position at work for choosing obedience.
Rewards of Obedience/Not Bowing Down (vs. 24-30)
It didn’t take long for Neb to see that the three men did not die in the furnace. In fact, he saw the three men walking around in the furnace…unharmed…along with a FOURTH person! Hmmm, I wonder who that fourth person was? This is about 600 years before the birth of Jesus, but there’s definitely a gospel message here in this story.
Anyway, because of their obedience, they experienced the rewards of obedience. They experienced the glory of God being made known through them. That’s the ultimate reward for our obedience—God’s glory/His fame is made known through us. That’s worth the price of obedience, eh?
Posted by: Rich Duffield