I have greatly looked forward to writing this particular devotional. There are so many great stories in the bible. None in my opinion quite compare with the story of boldness I will share today. It has astounded me since the first time I learned of it as a child. Daniel 3 is quite lengthy. I’m going to give a brief cliff notes version of the story for some background information before looking at any specific parts of the text. I would encourage you to read the chapter at some point on your own because simply put, it is awesome.

There was a King named Nebuchadnezzar who was ruler of Babylon. In the beginning of Daniel, we are introduced to the man whom which the book is named after. Daniel was a servant of God unwilling to wavier in becoming as the world. He found favor in the eyes of the King as God gifted him with the ability to interpret dreams. Daniel’s story is profound in how the King became awestruck in the God Daniel served. Today I want to focus on three of his buddies; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

These three guys were appointed to oversee and assist affairs in the province of Babylon. Despite the King having confidence in Daniel’s God, he decided to build idols of gold for the people to worship. All the peoples in the land were commanded at the sound of any musical instrument, to fall down and worship the graven image the King created. This did not sit well with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Obviously the reason they got along so well with Daniel and won over his favor is because of their solid assurance in the Lord God Almighty as the One True God. Eventually some nosey bystanders saw the three in resistance to bowing down and worshiping this hunk of gold they called a god and decided to tattle to the King. As you might expect, the King was not pleased in their disinterest to obey. He gave the guys an ultimatum…bow down in worship or die a fiery death. The three stood firm in their convictions. They were not afraid for they had faith God would deliver them. So the story goes, they are bound and thrown into an exceptionally hot furnace and not only did God deliver them, but they walked away unsinged. Not even a scent of burning on them.

I cannot wait to dive further into this story. My summarizing is so meek in comparison to the words of scripture. Check out Daniel 3:16-18. The three respond to the threats of the king in this way,

“O, Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

WOW! Can you imagine someone threatening to end your life unless you comply with their wishes and telling them, “NO.” I want to pump my fist every time I read this section and yell, “YEAH!” because I know what is about to happen and I get super psyched up knowing how greatly they angered the king. The king was so filled with anger, he ordered his officials to maximize the heat in the furnace seven times the original temperature. Then, our three friends were tied up and tossed in. The officials who threw them in were killed instantly because the heat could not be contained enough when the door of the furnace was opened. Nearly immediately after they are thrown in, this happens in verses 24-25,

“The King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.””

Again…awesome. Verse 26, the king finally gives credit to our God as the “Most High God.” Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are pulled out of the furnace and to everyone’s amazement, “The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them (verse 27).”

The King finally reconciles that the God of our guys is the only One worthy of sincere worship. At the very end of the chapter, King Nebuchadnezzar sets in place a new law demanding the worship of only the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Check out what he threatens the people with who refuse. Verse 29 says, “Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.”

God is so awesome. What would it look like for you to have the boldness of these three men? When Satan leads circumstances or people to guide you into temptation, why fear putting your foot down. The point of this entire story is summed up in two verses, Daniel 3:16-18. Look at it again:

“O, Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

The God I serve and the God you serve, is able. It does not matter what you are caught up in, He is able to deliver you from bondage, sinful past, lies you tell yourself and any temptation you are sucked into. He. Is. Able. Even if He does not deliver you from a trying circumstance and things do not turn in your favor, do not bow in order to appease the world. No matter where life attempts to overpower you, God able and you do not have to settle for less than what He desires for your life simply because it seems like the only foreseeable option at the moment. Do not bow.

The story ends with rejoicing. Although they could have died, they were delivered from evil and the king promoted the three to an even higher seat in the province of Babylon. You see, when you bow, you allow others to control who you are. When you refuse to bow and seek to please the only One that matters, God Almighty, the reward for your courage will be given.

Matthew 16:26 says, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

Sometimes people lose their life for standing firm in the Lord, but I guarantee, they are rewarded far greater than you or I could ever imagine by the Lord in His kingdom. Standing firm does not mean you will lose your life, but it does means God will be glorified and that is the point for our existence.

Matthew 10:32-33 says, “So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

Someday when I am no longer on this earth and am in the presence of my Lord in heaven, I look forward to meeting Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and hearing their story of how God lead them to victory that day.