I’m sure you have heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego more than once but something I found when reading the book of Daniel again is something really remarkable. In each part of the story these four young men did remarkable things that made them stand out in the eyes of their superior’s. The first account you will find in Daniel 1:6:20. In this portion these 4 guys were being groomed to be wise men for the king and in that grooming process they were offered their choice of wine and food. Daniel spoke up for them and asked that they just have vegetables and water instead of wine and royal food. The official was reluctant but finally gave in and in 10 days he discovered that these 4 young men were stronger and looked better nourished than the other young men. Because they were willing to stand out God blessed them with wisdom and understanding beyond their years.
Listen to these verses
17 To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds. 18 At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service. 20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
The next part came a few years later when none of the sorcerers & magicians could interpret a dream the King was haunted by and so he decided to kill all his wise men which would have included Daniel,Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. Daniel hearing the news went before the King and asked for time to interpret the dream. Then he went home and the 4 of them got on their knees praising their God and then asking for his mercy and the ability to interpret this dream. After they were done praying Daniel goes out to see the King and interpret’s the dream for him, not taking any of the credit for himself but giving all the glory to his God.
Listen to what happened after Daniel revealed the dream to the king ( from Daniel 2)
46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. 49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.
In the next chapter(Daniel 3) the King makes an image of himself for his people to worship and set certain times of day for the people to come bow before this golden image. The astrologers being jealous of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego tell the King that they are not worshiping his golden image and in a furious rage the King orders that they be brought before him and he proceeds to give them one last chance to worship his golden image. Now please take note of the poise and the character of these 3 young men;
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O 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 save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
I love that last verse, it’s so powerful! Of course this enrages the King and he asked that the fire be heated 7 times hotter than usual. In fact the fire was so hot that the guard who went to throw them in the fire died instantly from the heat. Most of you know the rest of the story but I’ll tell it anyway. They were thrown in the fire but did not even have one hair on their head singed, in fact God sent an angel to walk with them in the fire! Can you imagine the King’s disbelief? His humiliation when he realized He was wrong?
These 3 stories illustrated something powerful for me just recently and I just wanted to share some of it with you; So here you have Crystal’s life lessons from Daniel.
1. Do what’s right even if it’s unpopular!
2. God loves to give us insight and wisdom if we would only ask for it!
3. Take a stand, no matter what the cost! It builds faith!
In a day in age when morality is at an all time low and it’s hard to even tell who the real Christians are, it’s important to be different. We are His representatives and we need to be different, stand out and we will make a difference in our world.
Can I challenge you? Where do you need to take a stand? What is the idol in the way of your worship today? It’s time to take a stand and say with Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego. You can throw us into the fire, our God can save us, but even if He doesn’t, I will not worship anyone but my God!