Daniel 3:15-18 15 Now if you’re ready, when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, drum, and every kind of music, fall down and worship the statue I made. But if you don’t worship it, you will immediately be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire — and who is the god who can rescue you from my power? ” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, “Nebuchadnezzar, we don’t need to give you an answer to this question. 17 If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you, the king. 18 But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not serve your gods or worship the gold statue you set up.”
Have you ever been in a situation that compromised your faith, your convictions, your morals? I have. I recall being asked to do something at work (this was before I worked for the church) that I was not comfortable with. Essentially I was told to lie and cheat in order to succeed. That’s pretty vague but I can just say that I was instructed to make it work no matter what it took. What was I going to do?
As I sat in my office with my boss on the phone – it was his day off – I felt the inner conflict happening within me. “Brad,” he said, “whatever it takes. I want you to say we did some training and write it off to corporate. Then we will make our numbers.” Pause. Silence. Oh God, what do I do? I refuse to lie and cheat in order to succeed. There must be a way. God, give me the creatively to make this work ethically.
“Brad, are we clear?” The voice came in on the line. “I can’t do it, Curt (*name changed),” I replied. “Do I need to come in there myself and get the job done, Brad? Can you not handle this?” “No, no, you don’t need to come in. I will figure something out,” I assured him. And the conversation ended. I hung up the phone and the challenge began. What next? Long story short, the light bulb came on and I worked it out. We succeeded. It was the hard way and it was the long way, but it worked. I did not compromise and God gave me the creativity to do it the right way.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had the same conviction, but with much more serious consequences facing them. But they didn’t budge, they didn’t give in. They refused to compromise their allegiance to God. Even though they were about to face a torturous death, they stood strong. And what really stands out to me is the statement that even if God did not rescue them, they would still not bow. They decided that they would take their chances.
How strong are your convictions? I think that we would all agree that if we knew God would bail us out, we would stand up for Him. But would we still take the stand even if we weren’t to be delivered? We need to take a cue from these three guys here in Daniel. The resolve we have in the conviction of our faith must be stronger than the fears we face. Let’s have some spiritual guts today and stand up for what is right. Who’s knows what will happen, but I’ll guess I will just have to take my chances.