Are we ready to meet Him?
Today, 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).
The three 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.
Christians 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.
The Bible 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
Bro. Jackson Nyakambire Concession, Zimbabwe