Daniel’s friends made the decision long before to serve the Lord first and foremost. When Daniel approached their handler about staying kosher, they stood beside him. They trained together and prayed together. All four men stood firm in their walk with God despite pressures from the other royal functionaries. So, after their prayer and fasting had produced the king’s dream and interpretation to Daniel, the King rewarded them with top jobs in his court.
The king then got proud, He took the message from the dream and decided that since he was the head of gold He should build a statue to honor himself. What is more, he decided that everyone else should worship him as well. So he decreed that when the band played, everyone should fall down and worship his statue. Failure to do so would end in being executed by being thrown into the firey furnace.
Shadrach, Mishak, and Abednego did not need to think about it, they made that decision years before. So when they heard the band, they refused to bow. The king heard the news and was furious. These were 3 of his top guys, after all! They set the tone for others in the administration, and in the land. So, the king hauled them in and gave them one more chance. He did not need to. The men looked the king in the eye and said that they did not need even a second to consider–they would not bow down. What is more, they told the king that God would deliver them. Here is the kicker, though–they went on to say,”BUT IF NOT king, We will still will not serve your gods or bow down to your statue!!!!!
We have to choose early whom we are going to serve. If we wait until circumstances force a choice, we will follow the path of least resistance. It is a matter of a deep-seated faith, that allows us to stand up under adversity. Such faith will allow us to watch God do awesome things to establish His place and authority. If we choose to serve God, however, we can count on the fact that the enemy will try to destroy us.
In those times, we have to come to the place where we too can say, we are going to serve God and He will deliver us. Then, it is that faith that leads us to continue and say, “BUT, IF NOT!”
We must be willing to give up all we have, even our lives, to honor God and allow Him to lead. Jim Elliot, martyred missionary to the Aulka indians in South America said it best, “He is no fool that will trade what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose!”
God Bless You
Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews. 9 They declared[b] to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! 10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image. 11 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace. 12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.[c] But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 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.[d] 18 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.”
19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated.