“At the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up”
Every believer faces the temptation to conform to the ways of the world. Sometimes these temptations are a force so strong it seems impossible to resist. Often, these temptations are magnified by the sheer fact that so many are caught up in them, and the Christian feels isolated when he chooses to stand firm in the Lord and resist. Perhaps no other story in the Bible illustrates this point more clearly than the temptation faced by Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego.
In order to ensure all would accept the new worship practices of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar pulled out all the stops. He built a massive golden structure that would glisten in the bright desert sun. He invited the most influential people in the empire, and used music to win over the hearts of the people. All this was an attempt to draw them into idolatry, and for almost everyone in the empire, Nebuchadnezzar’s efforts worked. They were caught up in the moment and without hesitation bowed before the golden statue.
As the story unfolds, we find three men who were unwilling to be swayed by the crowds. Three men who stood tall, when all others bowed before the image. Their decision was very costly. It cost them the embarrassment of standing alone, it cost them a trip to see the king, and it ultimately cost them being thrown into the burning fiery furnace.
In their case, what was costly, also yielded high returns. Their willingness to stand for the Lord against temptation, resulted in seeing Jesus, experiencing supernatural deliverance, having an impact upon their generation; leaving an example for us to follow today.
We will all face temptations at varying levels. Sometimes they will seem so strong it will take all we have to cling to the ways of God and resist them. It would do us well to keep the example of these three young men fresh in our minds to encourage us to stand strong.