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Refuse To Bow

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty… I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! (Habakkuk)

We tend to think, that the heroes of our faith were individuals who always discerned the outcome of their tests and were convinced that God would show up and deliver them from their trial immediately. But that is not true in every case. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not certain of their fate when facing King Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath.

These three young men, who became slaves after the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem in 605 B.C., served the Lord and practiced their faith, risking their lives every time they uttered a prayer or refused to worship the Babylonian gods.These gifted and talented men made an impression on the Babylonians and were recruited by Nebuchadnezzar for cabinet positions in his government. They were a good addition to the king’s leadership team until a certain conflict occurred. King Neb built a glorious idol of gold, creating a national holiday when it would be dedicated and unveiled to the public. The King sent messages to the high officers, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of his ninety-foot god.

After the people arrived the master of ceremonies stood and announced, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the King’s command! When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments, bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” The King was proud of his image and pleased that the people came to worship it. All went well except that the three Hebrews refused to bow to the shrine (Daniel 3:1-29). Neb flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be brought before him to explain their actions. He said to them, “I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship, … if you refuse, you will be thrown into the furnace.”

The Hebrews reply further infuriated the king, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue.” The three Hebrews were not certain of their fate, whether they would live or die, but they were certain of one thing—their faith. They trusted the Lord and it did not matter how things turned out. You may be facing uncertainties, not knowing the outcome of what you are going through. But no matter what happens, refuse to bow to anything other than God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. “For we know that He causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to his purpose for them” (Paul).

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