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Remember the story of the Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah? No?  Maybe you remember them by the names given to them by their Babylonian captors Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  Their story is a Sunday school favorite among children, but don’t miss how powerful their story is.

 

You remember how Nebuchadnezzar created the large image for everyone to worship.  He hoped to unify his empire through religion.  Forced religion if necessary.  The image was placed up and the musicians were called in and every public official of the empire was called.  When the music sounded they were to bow down to the image. 

 

Our three heroes of the story though would not bow.  They learned as children that God said that we are not to bow down before any graven images.  They feared the Lord more than they feared the law of the king.

 

Now again you know the story of how they were brought before the king who commanded their worship of the image and if not they would be thrown into the fiery furnace.  To this they made their famous reply,

“Dan 3:16  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter.

Dan 3:17  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

Dan 3:18  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

 

Nebuchadnezzar was did not back down and heated the furnace up hotter than it was ever intended and had the young men cast into the furnace.  These men would rather die than to follow the order of the king to disobey God.  Thankfully God saved them from that fiery furnace though.

 

These men though remain an example to us today to stand for God no matter what the cost.  Recently my wife was signed up to take a Sociology class called Deviant Behavior.  With a title like that I knew there would probably be some uncomfortable assignments, but I never imagined what the first assignment would be.  Simply put the professor told them they were to make a public profession that they were an atheist over the next two weeks.  They were to tell no one of the assignment.

 

One young man stood up immediately and said I cannot do this assignment.  It violates all that I believe in.  Several others then spoke up too.  They were standing for what they believed in.  The professor replied he didn’t care about his beliefs and he must do the assignment or take a zero.  My wife came home floored over the request.  How could she even pretend to deny her Savior?  Her only choice was to drop the class.

 

I’m not sure what the other kids will do, but I am sure thankful for those young men and women who stood for Christ that day and made their voices known just like Shadrach,Meshach, and Abednego.  I know that standing then may have repercussions on their schedules, maybe even delay a graduation for those that chose to drop.  However, there is one thing I do know and that is the blessings of God for standing will far outweigh anything ever lost on this earth.

 

Until next time, God bless.

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