Obey or Die
Being a Christ-follower is becoming increasingly difficult. It used to be that Christians were respected in our country. Then, we were merely accepted (“Aw, you’re a Christian. That’s great…for you.”) Now, however, it seems that we are becoming quite unpopular.
As a people pleaser, this terrifies me! But as a student of the Bible, it doesn’t surprise me.
I’ve been studying the book of Daniel in my devotions, lately. Yesterday, I read about Daniel’s three friends refusing to bow down to the idol the king had built. This King was the great ruler of the then-known world, the Head of Gold in Daniel 2. What he said was law. Literally. And refusing was not an option.
But Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego submitted to a Higher authority. The law may have said that all people must bow down to the king’s idol. But the Word of God clearly states that believers are to serve no other Gods. These men counted the cost — “Bow down or die” — and chose to die rather than to live in disobedience.
They chose to die rather than to live in disobedience.
We know the end of their story, but they didn’t. They even said, “Our God is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire…but even if he does not, let it be known to you, O king, we are not going to serve your gods…” Daniel 3:17-18
These man were thrown into the furnace not knowing whether God would save them in this life, or whether He would promote them to the next. Simply living was not their main objective. Living in obedience was their main objective.
The result of their obedience? It wasn’t just that their lives were spared in a miraculous way – though that was pretty amazing!! The greatest result was that the king recognized the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego was the Most High God. God was glorified, His name was made known throughout the kingdom, His power was demonstrated to everyone.
Lots of changes have taken place in the world since the time of Shadrach, Mesach, and Abed-nego. But God has not changed, nor has His purpose for his followers: we are to love Him, to obey Him, and to make Him known. No matter what.
May we be bold and uncompromising in our obedience. The rewards for that, my friends, are out of this world!