The trio huddled around the campfire waiting for the inevitable. The sky matched the mood of the cult members—black and daunting. Even though the stars sparkled in the moonlight giving off a spectacular display, they couldn’t lighten the heavy atmosphere.
“You defied a direct order,” Nikolaus said. The leader gritted his teeth. “And now you must pay the price.”
Sheldon, Mackenzie, and Addison wouldn’t bow to his obscure ways. At first the group’s captivating meetings and ideologies fascinated them, but they were in too deep by the time they realized it was a cult. There was no room for their beliefs in the trio’s minds. Only Jesus was the answer.
Nikolaus stepped forward and crossed his arms. “What do you have to say for yourselves?”
The trio glanced at each other and stood simultaneously. “We only bow before God,” Sheldon said. The others nodded.
The leader motioned for his bodyguards to come forward. “Take them away and make it look like an accident. They must not be able to tell anyone we exist.”
Other cult members gasped. Murmurs spread through the group like weeds in a garden. Did they just hear their leader correctly?
Flashing lights and sirens pierced the night, silencing everyone. The police moved quickly apprehending Nikolaus and his guards.
The leader turned to the trio. “How did they know where to find us? Our spot is top secret.”
Addison smiled. “That’s how big our God is.”
Embers from the fire crackled and shot into the air as if in agreement.
The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a fascinating one. I have to be honest and say it scared me as a child. I kept wondering if I would have to step into a blazing furnace to prove my faith. Yikes! Of course as I grew older my fear subsided and God taught me there are many ways to prove our faith. The biggest would be in how we live our lives—everyday.
What can we learn from this fiery trio?
They didn’t yield to peer pressure. Picture this with me. Everyone is assembled in one spot. The massive gold idol is on display. A buzz could be heard all over the kingdom. Excitement is building. Then the lyre, harp, flute, and other instruments announce—it’s time. A hush washes over the crowd and in one unified motion, everyone bows. Except for three people—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Three Jews who knew this idol wasn’t to be worshiped. Do you think they felt the stares of everyone around them? You betcha. However, they still didn’t yield. They stood their ground. Are there times in our lives when we do yield? It could be in a simple way. Someone cracks a joke about our faith and we let it go. Another person might try and persuade us that Jesus isn’t the only way and we stay silent. Ever been there? I think we would all have to admit to something similar from one time or another. Next time it happens, lets think of the furnace of faith.
They didn’t try and make excuses. The King requested the guards bring the trio to him. Nebuchadnezzar confronted 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?” (Daniel 3:14 NIV) Their response? They told him they didn’t need to defend themselves. They would not kneel to the gold statue. Wow. Would we have such faith when confronted? Or would we try and make an excuse for our beliefs? I pray we wouldn’t.
They knew the consequences of their actions but still didn’t yield. It was known throughout the land that anyone who didn’t kneel would be thrown into the fiery furnace. They knew this ahead of time but still wouldn’t worship the statue. If we were in their shoes, would we yield? Is there a situation where you need to stand your ground even when you know someone will ridicule you, or worse—cause you pain?
They weren’t scared of the furnace. I don’t know about you, but the thought of being thrown into a blazing hot fire makes me want to run in the other direction. I sweat just thinking about it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn’t even flinch! They trusted God to deliver them and He did! Not one hair on their head was singed. When faced with an impossible situation, do we run the other way? We need to walk through the fire to get to the other side. It’s the only way to grow and heal.
In today’s society there are many different religions. Supposedly, there are many ways to God. We’re asked, “How do you know yours is right?” Simple. God’s word tells us.
We’re thrust into the furnace and ridiculed for believing in the Bible. A book for the “simple-minded.” Well, this simple-minded girl believes in the one true God and the pages of His word.
Will you stand your ground or will you yield to those around you?
Let’s show others our furnace of faith and stand with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Share an experience when you stood your ground. Did others make fun of you? Tell us what happened.
Daniel 3:17-18 (NIV)
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.”
Stand – written by Jim Brady, performed by The Booth Brothers (my favorite group!)
From the first time I heard this song shivers ran down my spine. When they sing it I can’t stay in my seat. I STAND!