Be encouraged….if you make a stand for God, He is NOT going to let you stand alone. Why would He?
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego….if nothing else, just because they are catchy names….just kidding. But I really love the story because in the days of compromise, blurred lines about what is right/wrong….we need a Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. You see they were 3 young men where were challenged to make a stand, or to compromise and follow the crowd. Well here is the story…King Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful guy in the world. So he build a 90 foot statue of himself for everybody to worship. So when the music plays, everybody bows down to the golden statue…and it worked. Oh yeah, and everybody who doesn’t bow down? One way trip to the furnace to be burned to death. What a power trip….but not so fast. Because Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego wouldn’t bow down and worship a “fake god.”
So the King says, okay….one more chance…..maybe you didn’t hear me. Music plays….you bow down and worship me…and if not, into the furnace you go….got it? Oh, how I love their response…
Daniel 3:16-18 – 16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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.” (NIV)
Well the king got hot…and so did the furnace…
Daniel 3:19-22- 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (NIV)
Justice served….I can imagine Nebuchadnezzar saying, is there anybody else who wants to defy me? Until…..ahem…king, something is going on in the fire…
Daniel 3:24-26 – 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,
Please be human for just a minute! Imagine yourself…getting ready to be thrown in the fire…and you were about ready to die. Do you compromise or do you stand firm. Now be a human again…and imagine what EVERYBODY in that entire assembly thought! Well let’s hear it from the king…
Daniel 3:27-30 – 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
You see…they were NEVER alone. No idea whether God was going to get them out of the fire or not…but they were NEVER alone. And neither are we! Because God can’t send you on a mission without you being successful. Now don’t think that your idea of success and God’s are always going to be the same. Maybe the 3-Amigos in this story thought that God would deliver them “before” the fire. BUT…wasn’t this one much more exciting! Isn’t this a BETTER story of deliverance? Doesn’t God’s way cause you to want to praise Him?
YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!!
So be encouraged….whatever fire you are in, or will go in…God is standing there “with” you…..because He loves you. And that is what Christmas is all about. God came to pay the penalty for our sin….to get us out of the fire that we started. So make a stand this Christmas for JESUS! You will not be disappointed.
Grace and peace, Dan