Stand Firm: Part 2

26th February

King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue about ninety feet tall and nine feet wide and set it on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon…..when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and other musical instruments, bow down to the ground and worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue. Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

Daniel 3:1,5-6

Daniel, an Old Testament prophet, was another man who refused to compromise, even when his own life was in danger. Daniel was one of the Israelite men and women taken into captivity by the mighty nation of Babylonia, led by the ferocious King Nebuchadnezzar. Time and time again, whilst in captivity, the various rulers of the Babylonian kingdom, tried to force their laws and their gods onto the helpless captives, in exchange for better food or even freedom. Yet Daniel and a few others, held fast and refused to deny the One True God, Yahweh.

King Nebuchadnezzar, in sheer pride, erected a golden statue to be worshipped in his honour. He also made a law, that whenever musical instruments where played, the nation had to bow down and worship this golden statue. Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to compromise and worship other gods instead of the One True God, Yahweh. Their actions sent King Nebuchadnezzar into a frenzy. In complete rage and anger, he threw them into a fiery furnace, heated four times hotter than normal, and left them to be incinerated……well that’s at least what he thought. God had other plans. God miraculously saved the four from being burnt and further sent an ‘angel’ to protect them; so much so that they didn’t even smell of smoke when they left the furnace.

Daniel and friends willingness to stand firm for God and to not compromise could have come at a great cost. Firstly they had to defy the will of the King, of one of the greatest and mightiest kingdoms ever to walk this earth. Secondly their stand could have led them to their death by fire. However all four counted the cost of compromising greater than that of disobeying King Nebuchadnezzar’s decrees.

Today, we also are faced with daily challenges to compromise. Compromise is all around us as people’s moral standards fall and temptation become evermore acceptable. Will you stand up for integrity? Will you stand up for Jesus….even if the consequences are great?

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