There are some young men in the Bible who had an amazing revelation of God’s covenant, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Taken captive to Babylon as boys and chosen for training in the king’s service, they lost their homes and families, everything except their faith. Sometime later an encounter with Nebuchadnezzar landed them in the blazing furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow down and worship the idol that Nebuchadnezzar set up. Nebuchadnezzar got mad. Here is an excerpt from the NIV:
13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 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. 18 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.”
These young men knew who they served and it was not Nebuchadnezzar. They knew that everything they did was to serve the God who created the universe, the God who sent them into captivity. They had something that King Nebuchadnezzar could not take from them, a revelation of God’s covenant with their people. Because of their covenant with God they refused to worship anyone but Him. These young men had been taught God’s commandments as their part of that covenant, including the commandment to worship only God. (Exodus 20:3-4). They knew the history of God’s deliverance for their people with miracles, signs and wonders.
They trusted God completely with their lives. Their covenant revelation caused them to speak boldly to the king who tried to tempt them. Nebuchadnezzar tried to put himself above the God of the universe, by asking: “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” They could not allow a challenge like that to go unanswered. But answering the challenge involved more than just rebuking the blasphemous speaker; they took action to prove their faith was real. They stood together and told Nebuchadnezzar to go ahead and do what he wanted because God would take care of them. Their attitude sounded like this; “We will have no regrets, because we will not worship your idols. We have a GOD, you have an idol.”
Children of God can thrive in all situations, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Having a revelation of our covenant with God will cause us to act, (to be a witness to His love) despite any opposition. I pray that God will impart revelation of the covenant to all His children, so this world will glorify His name.
Enjoy your week, I’ll be back next week with more.