Main point summary
King Nebuchadnezzar issues a decree that at the appointed time, all will fall and worship the gold image. However, news had spread that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego did not follow that decree. In anger, the king brings them in for questioning. King Nebuchadnezzar challenges them to worship the gold image in front of him or die. However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego had great trust in God. Therefore they didn't budge, refusing to bow down even in the face of death.
They spoke and said to King Nebuchadnezzar,
“O king, live forever!
You, O king, have made a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music,
shall fall down and worship the gold image;
and whoever does not fall down and worship
shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
There are certain Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego;
these men, O king, have not paid due regard to you.
They do not serve your gods
or worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Then Nebuchadnezzar, in rage and fury, gave the command to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.
So they brought these men before the king.
Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them,
“ Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods
or worship the gold image which I have set up?
Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music,
and you fall down
and worship the image which I have made,
But if you do not worship,
you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king,
“O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
If that is the case,
our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace,
and He will deliver us from your hand, O king.
But if not, let it be known to you, O king,
that we do not serve your gods,
nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
It won't be long before they would face one of the greatest questioning of their lives. Apparently, word got out that Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego had failed to follow a decree that was issued by the king which required them to fall down and worship the gold image when the music was played. And so, in rage and fury, King Nebuchadnezzar asks for the three of them and demands for them to bow down and worship the gold image in front of him or face death, taunting them with a question : "And [so] who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?" Basically King Nebuchadnezzar was saying, "Even god can't save you from me!" The ball was now in Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego's court. Do they give up their faith in God and just bow down? Or do they remain steadfast in God and face the furnace? How would they respond? ...... H ow would you respond? However, against all odds, Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego refused to bow down to the gold image, being confident that God was able to save them. Many of us are familiar with this story. Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego were man of faith who remained steadfast in God. We typically think that they merely had faith in God to deliver them out from all their troubles. While that might be partially true, I believe that isn't all to their faith. Their faith was not merely rooted in God to deliver them out from all their troubles. After Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego refused to bow down, they proceeded to say: "But if not.....that we do not serve your gods" Even if God were to not save them, they would not bow down to that gold image. Does this response imply a lack of faith on their part? No! Far from it! This response implies that their faith was not merely rooted in God delivering them out from all their troubles but in God Himself. It is a faith not merely to get out of troubles but a faith despite troubles. A faith rooted in God Himself. Life isn't a bed of roses. Everyday we are faced with new challenges. And sometimes even though we go to God and pray with all our heart, sometimes it just seems that God doesn't seem to hear us. But don't be disheartened, just because God doesn't seem to hear your prayers, it doesn't mean that you have no faith. Because at the end of the day, as you lie on your bed and contemplate the myriad troubles that haunt you for the day and would carry on as "tomorrow's worry"; if your faith is merely rooted in God as your problem solver, you will be full of worries of what tomorrow will bring. But if your faith in rooted in God Himself, despite the sorrows that sought you drown you, your soul will remain confident and steadfast in a God who will never fail and who will continue to be an anchor for your soul. Therefore may we have the same God focused faith that Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-Nego had.