Daily Reading: Daniel 3; 2 Peter 2
Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon. (Daniel 3:30, NASB95)
All Christians would like to be these three youths at this point, but they didn’t start here, and this isn’t the best part of the story.
- Nebuchadnezzar sets up a great statue (probably of himself) and called for all of his officials to worship it (Dan. 3:1-5).
- Anyone who would disobey this order would be forced to stand out.
- When music begins, all are to worship it, under the penalty of death by a fiery furnace.
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego alone do not bow down and worship. Nebuchadnezzar personally questions them and gives them one more chance. Their faith is not tested only once.
- The three youths personally answer the king that they refuse to worship his gods or image.
- Nebuchadnezzar’s anger was fierce. The furnace is heated even seven times hotter. Who is able to deliver from such a fire?
- God powerfully delivers them, even sending His angel to walk with them in the furnace (Dan. 3:24, 28).
- This pagan king makes a powerful proclamation about the holiness and delivering power of the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego (Dan. 3:29).
In Daniel 1:7-20, these three stood with Daniel over the test of eating food that would defile them. Here they stand alone and show themselves faithful. The believer’s main purpose is not to prosper materially, but to live faithfully before God, so that others might come to know Him. Jesus says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). In decisions you make everyday, are you faithfully living for Jesus? Can others see that you serve the God of Heaven?