Great message from Daniel, our pastor has been doing a series called "Faith in the Fire" last Sunday was especially good so I'll try to recall some of the high points, not that all of them weren't good its just that my memory fails me to recall all of them. He titled it "Bow or Burn"
I'm sure you remember the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. They were close friends of Daniel and all of them refused to follow the laws that king Nebuchadnezzar was trying to implement. The king had a golden image made that stood 90 feet tall and was huge, and he had made a command that all peoples were to bow and worship the image whenever the lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe and all music was played. Now, of course Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego would not do this and here comes the lesson. Remember these boys were just that, boys maybe 14-15 years old but they stood their ground, even though their faith was being challenged they were ready. They had a personal relationship with a much bigger God and would not bow to an image made by human hands. They also knew their faith would be observed so they had to be consistent. All of the satraps, prefacts, governors, counselors, treasurers, judges, and magistrates, all the important people who were anything were hearing and seeing what the three young men had to say. The boys knew they would be thrown into the fire if they did not do what the king commanded they knew their faith would be investigated and the had to be open. They were respectful to the king but were ready to explain and they were clear as to why they could not worship and image. Of course they did not know what God would do but they did know that they had to remain faithful no matter what. They were truly being tested, and resloved to accept what ever laid in store for them. You know how the story ends with the three being thrown into the furnace tied up and so hot that it killed the men throwing them in, but they did not get so much as a hair burned on their heads or even smell like smoke. The really cool thing is that they were not alone. The king saw a fourth man walking in the fire with them..Nebuchadnezzar was astounded!!! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego were rewarded and when they were called out of the furnace they gave thanks to God for his faithfulness to them. They were humble and exalted the One who saves.
I think of this in today's situations and we need to hold fast to this kind of faith that no matter what challenges we face we need to remain sted fast and trust that our great God is able to see us through. Ask yourself will you bow or burn?? Think about it we as believers are not bound because of Jesus, we are not dead but alive because of Jesus, and we are not alone because of Jesus. How many times do we compromise our belief in a given day and bow the the worlds way of thinking??? We need to learn lessons from some teenage boys who did not bow and were not burned.