In The Fire Or In The Lions Den?
November 1, 2021
I have been studying the Old Testament book of Daniel and am fascinated by how this young man Daniel and his three friends; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who were captives of King Nebuchadnezzar, became trusted advisors to the King. Over the years that they served under the king, there were many times when he called on them for counsel or to interpret dreams for him that his trusted advisors could not do.
As a result, these other advisors became jealous and planned devious schemes to discredit them and even kill them. The first was when King Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue fashioned and ordered that all should bow to this new golden God made in his image. Of course, these three young Jews would not do that and his chief astrologer reported it to the king. He became very angry and had the furnace heated seven times its normal temperature and ordered them caste into the furnace.
Their response was astounding! Abed-Nego stepped forward and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar if you sentence us to death by the furnace, our God whom we serve can deliver us from the flame. But even if He does not, know that we will stand firm and never serve your Gods. Nor will we worship your golden image now or any other day.”
What an astounding statement! What would you have done if faced with this same choice? Is your faith and trust in God strong enough that you could be this fearless? Think about what a horrible and painful way this would be to die. I would like to think that my faith and trust in God is strong and deep enough to respond as they did, but we won’t really know until we are faced with something like that.
Next is what happened with Daniel who as a very young Jewish captive, probably still in his teenage years, was elevated to a high position in the Babylonian kingdom because he was able to tell King Nebuchadnezzar what his dream was and the interpretation of that dream. Again because of envy and jealousy by the counselors and astrologers to the king they convinced him to issue an edict that for thirty days no one would be allowed to pray to or petition anyone but the king.
Daniel violated this edict by praying to his God three times a day. He was quickly arrested and thrown into the lion’s den. Although the king loved Daniel and did not want to do it, he was placed in a position where he had no choice. Daniel went into the lion’s den confident that his God would deliver him from any harm. We know the story of his deliverance without a scratch on him.
So the question would be for us; how would you respond to being faced with something like this? Again we would like to think that we would be brave and confident that God would protect us, but we would never know for certain until we faced this kind of test.
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