“Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.” Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3.10-17
This very familiar account of the three Hebrews is filled with powerful, challenging principles of the kind of commitment needed to follow Christ in a fallen world. Like in Babylon, our culture is ridden with idols and images that people worship and adore. The idols of materialism. The idols of forbidden sexual pleasures. The idols of “success”. We live in a nation that has lost its moral compass. It has been said that sin is insanity and America has gone mad. The lukewarm church is caving in. The base standards and pressures to conform to the image of this world has squeezed the fervor and zeal of multitudes of alleged followers of Jesus. The world plays its tune, and the church bows down to escape the consequences of standing for Jesus. These 3 Hebrews made up their mind to walk with Jehovah long before they were confronted with this ultimatum. They began by refusing to eat or drink the king’s delicacies. They knew that a little leaven would leaven their souls.
When their lives were threatened if they did not bow down before the image of the king, it was a no brainer. We have a King. We only bow to Him and His truth. We “dance” to a different song. We will not bow down or serve your gods. Mammon is not our god. Forbidden pleasure is not our god. Jehovah is our God. Whether He sees fit to deliver us from this furnace or not, we will not bow. Where are the likes of the 3 Hebrew children in today’s church? When society confronts you with the choice of bowing down to its fallen values of the flesh or the world or the pride of life as opposed to standing firm for Jesus, come what may, to whom do you bow down?