What Would You Do? 

Daniel 3:5
“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.

Pastor Jim


Achilles’ Hill

Ezekiel 6:11

“Thus says the Lord God: ‘Pound your fists and stamp your feet, and say, “Alas, for all the evil abominations of the house of Israel! For they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”‘”

When I read of the fall of Judah I am reminded of Achilles, who was one of the more famous characters in Greek mythology. He was the central figure of Homer’s Iliad, and the hero of the Trojan wars. The legend tells the story of Achilles, who was held by the ankle and dipped in the river Styx, providing him with supernatural protection in battle. As a result, his only weakness was his ankle that was not covered by the magical waters. It was this weakness that ultimately cost him his life.

Unlike the story of Achilles, Israel truly had supernatural protection. The great armies of Egypt, Canaan, and Assyria were no match for a nation who received its protection from the Lord. Their safety was never in their vast armies, high walls, or military ingenuity. It was the Lord, who was a mighty fortress protecting His people against their foes.

Tragically, Israel had an Achilles’ heel; an area of weakness that would ultimately destroy the nation. That weakness was their wandering heart. Like Samson of old, their strength lie in their commitment to the Lord. Each time they set aside the Word of God and picked up another practice of the surrounding nations, they came one step closer to their fall. Over the years they had come to the brink of disaster, only to call upon God, receive his mercy, and in essence, a stay of execution. This mercy caused them to misunderstand God and sin, thinking of themselves as indestructible. Even with the Babylonian army encamped about the city, they still foolishly thought deliverance would come. What they failed to realize was, sin will weaken an individual and a nation.

As a child of God, you are protected against the wiles of the devil. All of his attacks are shielded by the grace of God. There is no weapon formed against us that can prevail (Isaiah 54:17). That, however, does not mean we are indestructible. That does not give us license to sin or compromise, thinking we cannot be defeated. Like Achilles and Israel, we all have a weakness and that weakness is sin. The solution is to remove it from our lives and cling tighter to the promises of God’s Word.

Pastor Jim