Verse of the Day Devotion: Daniel 3:18
“But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” – Daniel 3:18
This particular verse was spoken by Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego. These were the three Hebrew young men taken into Babylon to serve in the same place as Daniel. At that time, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon made an image of gold that he was requiring all in Babylon to worship. The order was, “that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.” Daniel 3:5. He also set up the rule, “But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.” Daniel 3:6. There was a death penalty in affect and the method of death was cruel, being burned alive in a furnace.
So, at the time that the music calling for golden image worship was to occur, all the people in Babylon, of all nations and languages fell down and worshipped the image except three; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. Note, Daniel was not in Babylon at this time. Some Chaldeans observed the three not worshipping the statue, and let Nebuchadnezzar know. I am sure they did this to hopefully earn favor from the king. They told the king, by name, the three who did not worship it. They knew the names because these three were over the administration of Babylon.
Well, this infuriated the king and he demanded that they be brought before him. He questioned them by saying, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?” Daniel 3:14b Then he gives them another chance. “Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” Daniel 3:15. This is a very arrogant statement. However, he will soon learn about that God who can.
Instead of answering the king’s question, they told him that if we end up in the fiery furnace, our God is able to deliver you out of your hand and out of the furnace. However, even if He chooses not to deliver us from you, let us make it clear that we will not serve you gods or worship your golden image.
Well, the end of the story is that they were thrown into the furnace, and God delivered them. However, what I want to focus on here is their answer to the king. Whatever happens, we will never worship any god but the true God. No matter how awful or painful the punishment, no matter what it is, we will not give our worship to any of your gods.
There is coming a day, and in some ways is here now, when today’s Christians will need to make a similar decision. In African nations like Nigeria, Boko Haram kidnaps Christians and if they do not convert to Islam, they are killed. In North Korea and China, if they determine someone is a Christian, they will be sent to Concentration Work camps, known in China as re-education camps to be forced by torture, starvation and slavery work until they either convert or die. Here in the United States, Christians are persecuted in our public schools and colleges. Christian monuments are under threat of being destroyed and businesses are being attacked for upholding Christian beliefs. It is only a matter of time, if things continue to get worse, until it will be illegal to be a Christian and live those beliefs in public.
I have one question, do we have the courage of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego to stand strong and not compromise, or will we be like the other Jews taken into Babylon who bowed and worshipped the golden image? It is time for us to prepare for extremely difficult times. We must draw closer to God and yield entirely to Him. We must decide that no matter what, we will not deny the living God by worshipping idols and other false gods. If we truly believe that Christ is our savior and that there is no other God but ours, then we must stand strong and unwavering.
We must start preparing now, for who knows when we will have to make “that” decision.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.