worshippers of God face circumstances similar to those of ShadrAck, Meshach and
Abednego. Granted, God’s people may not be exiles in a literal sense. Yet
Jesus said that his followers would be “no part of the world” John 17:14. They
are “foreigners” in that they do not adopt the unscriptural custom, attitudes
and practices of those around them. As the apostle Paul wrote, “Christians are
to quit being fashioned after this system of things” (Rom.12:2).
Hebrews refused to be fashioned after the Babylonian system. Even thorough
instruction in Chaldean wisdom did not sway them, their position in the matter
of worship was non-negotiable and their allegiance was to God.
Christians today need to be just as steadfast. They need not be ashamed because
they are different from those in the world. Indeed, “the world is passing away
and so is its desire” (1 John 2:17) so it would be foolish to conform to this
dying, system of things.
need to be on guard against every form of idolatry, including subtle forms (1
John 5:21). Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego obediently and respectfully stood
before the golden image, but they realized that bowing before it was more than a
mere gesture of respect. It was an act of worship and participation would incur
God’s wrath. (Deut. 5:8-10). It was, in effect the saluting of the flag,
although, because of the inter-relationship of religious connotation today, true
Christians take an equally firm stand against idolatry.
account of Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego provides a sterling object lesson for
all who are determined to render exclusive devotion to God. The apostle Paul
evidently had these three Hebrews in mind when he spoke of many who exercised
faith, including those who “stayed the force of fire” (Heb.11:33-34). God will
reward all who imitate such faith. The three Hebrews were delivered from the
fiery furnace, but we can be sure that He will resurrect all loyal ones who lose
their lives as integrity-keepers and will bless them with everlasting life.
Either way, God “is guarding the souls of his loyal ones and out of the hand of
the wicked ones he delivers them” (Psalm 97:10).
Bro. Jackson Nyakambire (Concession, Zimbabwe)