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Honor God at All Cost

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a popular narrative in the Bible, often remembered for how God miraculously delivered these three men from King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. But aside from God’s deliverance, there is another remarkable thing we can see and learn about in their story, and that is, steadfast faith and resolute obedience.

After King Nebuchadnezzar created a gigantic golden image, he commanded that anyone who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, and every kind of music, was to fall down and worship that golden image. Anyone who failed to do this commandment would immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.

Some of the Chaldeans came to the king and maliciously accused the three Jews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for not paying attention to the king and for not worshipping the golden image. In his rage, the king commanded for the three men to be brought in his presence and reiterated to them his commandment and the consequence of not doing this commandment. To this the three men answered, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18)

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to break God’s commandment to worship idols, even if King Nebuchadnezzar had threatened to end their lives by throwing them in the furnace. Now, notice from the reply of the three men to the king that they refused to bow before the golden image without the knowledge and certainty that they would be rescued by God in the fiery furnace. Whether the Lord were to rescue them from the furnace or the Lord were to allow them to die in the furnace, they were committed to worshipping and honoring only the One true God.

If these three men were to simply bow and worship the golden image, they would have been spared from the fiery furnace - they would have certainly spared their lives. And yet, they refused to do so because they did not want to dishonor the Lord and His commandment to worship Him alone, even if it meant possibly losing their lives.

As God delivered these three men from the fiery furnace, He displayed to King Nebuchadnezzar and to all the people of Babylon, that He is indeed God. More so, He is the God who is mighty to save and who is deserving of their utmost worship. This then led the king himself to bless the God that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, trusted and served (Daniel 3:28).

Dear believer, may this story cause you to reflect on the steadfastness of your faith and the resoluteness of your obedience. Surely faith and obedience always come together. One simply cannot obey with conviction and intention without first having steadfastness of faith.

If we are grounded in faith, we will truly understand that we live not to gain more comforts or to secure our lives, but solely to honor the Lord. God is first and center. Once that is clear to us, then obedience, despite what it may cost us, will be our heart’s single desire. And we know that this grace-given faith and grace-enabled obedience can only result to one thing: the greater glory of our Lord.

Though Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced uncertainty in what the fiery furnace may result to, their death or their deliverance, their only source of security was trusting in God. No matter what their earthly future may hold in the furnace of King Nebuchadnezzar, they knew that their eternal future was held by the hands of the King of kings. Believer, may this truth resonate with you as you seek to honor God at all costs.

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