Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 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. 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.” (Daniel 3:16-18)
I am in the middle of a study by Jennie Allen called “Humble & Bold: How to love God in a world that doesn’t”
As I read through these 3 verses this morning I realized there is so much that could be unpacked.
1 – “we do not need to defend ourselves…”
God clearly states in His Word that we are to have no other gods before Him. We should have no idols. We should bow down before nothing, but Him. (Leviticus 26:1) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are just following the laws set by God. So, they know since they are listening to what God told them, if there are repercussions to their disobedience to what the King says, God will help them. They don’t feel the need to defend themselves, because they are just following what they’ve been told by the King of Kings. God’s commands are higher than any laws other Kings set.
2 – “But even if he does not…”
Some might read this and think of it as a lack of faith. I see this as PURE faith. They know that the God they serve CAN pull them from any situation (even a blazing furnace) if He wants to. But, even if God chooses not to, they still stand firm on following God’s Word and knowing His response is what’s best for The Kingdom. They could have bowed down in fear that God might not pull them from the blazing fire, but they didn’t. They would rather stand firmly on their faith knowing that EVEN IF God doesn’t rescue them from this furnace, in the end they are rescued INDEED.
3 – “Your Majesty”
Romans 13 tells us that we should “submit to governing authorities” because all authorities have been set by God. These 3 men refuse to bow down to the idol of the king, but they still submit to him by calling him “your majesty”. They still recognize that God has called us to respect those in governing positions. They show us that it is possible to follow God and the commands He has laid out for us, while still showing respect to those in higher authority positions.
I’ve heard many sermons on the book of Daniel. But there is something about reading it for yourself and allowing God to speak through each word that brings such clarity.
We aren’t called to bow down to leaders that are elected. We are called to respect them and bow down to God.
We are called to have faith in God EVEN IF the outcome of some situations are not what we want or what makes us feel comfortable.
And, when we are at a place where we are doing what we KNOW God has clearly called us to do, we don’t have to defend ourselves. God will do it for us.